MIAMI (WSVN) - A jury reached a split decision Tuesday evening in the trial of a former Hialeah Police officer accused of kidnapping and beating a homeless man.
Officer Rafael Otano, 28, was found guilty of armed kidnapping but was found not guilty on the charge of battery.
Otano was accused of kidnapping and beating Jose Ortega Gutierrez, along with former Officer Lorenzo Orfila, on Dec. 17, 2022.
Gutierrez was eventually found and helped by another police officer.
After five days of testimony, which included Gutierrez, the jury presented their verdict.
“We the jury find the defendant, Rafael Otano, guilty of kidnapping,” a juror read in the courtroom.
Orfila and an investigator, Ali Amin Saleh, who is accused of a crime to bribe the victim to not file charges, have not yet gone to trial.
Otano’s next hearing is set for Sept. 5.
7News spoke to his attorney, Michael Pizzi, who said he believes his client is still innocent. Pizzi will ask the judge to acquit Otano despite the jury’s verdict.
He said if that doesn’t work, he will file an appeal.
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