DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami-Dade Police lieutenant has bonded out of jail one day after he was arrested in Palm Beach County on a sexual battery charge.
According to Palm Beach Gardens Police, MDPD Lt. John Jenkins turned himself in at around 8 p.m. Friday.
He has been charged with sexual battery and attempted sexual battery.
Jenkins’ arrest stems from an alleged incident that took place while he was in Palm Beach Gardens for a police union gala, April 25.
An arrest report details what the victim claims Jenkins did to her at the PGA National Resort.
Jenkins and the victim had attended the event hosted by the South Florida Police Benevolent Association.
Detectives said the suspect crossed the line when he volunteered to walk the woman back to her hotel room.
The arrest report states, “Jenkins immediately followed her inside, pushed her against the wall and began forcibly kissing her and told her he has had a crush on her for some time.”
The report states Jenkins got on top of the woman, who repeatedly told him to stop and reminded him that his wife and children were staying in the hotel as well.
The report states, “Jenkins then pushed (victim) onto the bed, laid on top of her and pulled her panties off from underneath her dress.”
The report states the victim discreetly tried to text her friend and boss, Mathew Puckett, for help.
The report further states, “From the bathroom, she texted Puckett, ‘Help,’ again. Puckett then called (victim’s) phone, and (victim) answered, leaving the line open and the phone hidden by her dress.”
Detectives said the statements from the victim and Puckett, surveillance video and DNA evidence match up.
Police said Puckett knocked on the hotel room’s door, and that gave the woman a chance to escape and call authorities.
The arrest report states, “At that point, Puckett decided to go to (the victim’s) room. No one was responding to Puckett on the phone, but he heard a voice he recognized as John Jenkins, who he has personally known for 18 years.”
In a statement issued Saturday, Jenkins’ attorney, Heidi Perlet, said the encounter was consensual, and these were two married adults who used poor judgment.
The statement reads in part, “Lt. Jenkins is looking forward to having his day in court to clear his name and excellent reputation. He has been committed to serving his community and has been a man of the law for 25 years. This situation involves two consenting adults who have known each other for many years. Anything that may have occurred was absolutely consensual.”
Jenkins, who has been on the force for 25 years, has resigned from his position as vice president of the South Florida PBA.
Following the arrest, MDPD Director Alfredo Ramirez III released a statement that reads in part, “Immediately after being notified of an incident that occurred off duty on April 25th, 2021, in the City of Palm Beach Gardens, I ordered for John Jenkins Jr. to be relieved of his official duties as a Miami-Dade Police Department lieutenant. Now learning of his arrest, it has brought a sense of disappointment that is immeasurable.”
In a statement, South Florida PBA President Steadman Stahl said, “The South Florida PBA is appalled and deeply saddened by the charges against Lt. Jenkins, who had previously resigned from his position with the PBA.”
Jenkins was released on bond Saturday afternoon.
Copyright 2021 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.