WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami-Dade Police lieutenant accused of molesting a young girl faced a judge a day after he was taken into custody.
Miami-Dade Police Lt. Braulio Gonzalez, 44, appeared in court Friday morning. He was charged with four counts of lewd or lascivious molestation of a child and armed kidnapping of a child under the age of 12. Both felony charges carry the possibility of a life sentence.
“I am ordering you to stay away from the victim, OK? No contact with her,” said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Renatha S. Francis.
Gonzalez, a member of the department’s Special Response Team was arrested Thursday afternoon at the agency’s Special Response Team headquarters for allegedly molesting a girl over a two-year period.
Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez addressed the arrest in a radio interview on WIOD.
“Our investigators immediately began to look into it, and we were able to corroborate some of the allegations, and it’s credible,” Perez said. “I was briefed on this and I can tell you I’m disturbed, saddened being able to see the evidence in this case. We acted appropriately immediately. We took action. You, know, I always keep saying no one’s above the law.”
7News cameras captured Gonzalez as he was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on Thursday. He is being held without bond.
The arrest report stated, “The victim explained that between the ages of 8 and 10 years old, the defendant fondled her.”
The Florida Department of Children and Families was contacted as a result.
Court documents said Gonzalez is a family member but did not elaborate on the relationship between the defendant and victim.
According to the arrest warrant, the girl told a child protective investigator that the first time Gonzalez fondled her, he pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill her sibling if she didn’t comply.
The arrest report stated, “The victim advised the first incident occurred when she was 8 years old. She described being woken up and seeing the defendant pointing a firearm at her head. The defendant told her that if she didn’t follow him, he would kill her sibling who was sleeping in the same bedroom on another bed.”
The arrest report stated, “The victim further disclosed that the defendant forced her to touch him inappropriately.”
“These are extremely serious allegations involving the victimization of a vulnerable child. The charges represent a breach of trust by a law enforcement officer who has sworn to protect the community and uphold the law,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “All victims of sexual crimes should feel confident that their voices will be heard and the alleged crimes against them will be investigated.”
Neighbors were shocked upon hearing the allegations.
“You hear stories like these, and it’s, oh, my goodness. How can people do this to kids?” said Robert Scott. “I just can’t believe what he’s accused of. It’s incredible.”
“If the accusations are true, I hope he gets what he deserves,” said a neighbor who asked not to be identified or show his face on camera. “That’s insane. Honestly, to have somebody like that living right across the street from me makes me feel very uncomfortable.”
Gonzalez is on paid leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
DCF is also investigating the case.