HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - The Hialeah Police Department has addressed the alarming allegations against one of their own.
They said new information regarding alleged misconduct by veteran Hialeah Police Sgt. Jesus Menocal have come to light, and that he has been taken off the streets — again — but he is still on the force.
“I want the public to know, do not worry, we don’t cover up for our officers,” said Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velazquez. ‘We do our due diligence under the law.”
Menocal was first taken off the streets in 2015 after women and teens came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, accusing Menocal of using his badge and police presence to scare them into sexual favors.
After reviewing the case, the Miami State Attorney’s Office decided there wasn’t enough evidence to pursue charges, and the internal investigation didn’t lead to any disciplinary action against Menocal.
In 2016, Menocal returned to the streets, getting his yearly raises and earning back his spot on the SWAT team.
Some time after, the FBI began digging into the allegations, landing Menocal back on desk duty a few months ago.
On Friday, Velazquez made a rare media appearance to defend his handling of the case over the last four years.
“I understand the allegations are serious allegations, and we took them as very serious allegations,” Velazquez said, “and that’s why we are still on the path of finding the final resolution and the truth. I already explained the different stages, and when [Menocal] was on the street, he was no longer facing any sexual allegations.”
But he is now.
The chief wouldn’t say when the FBI opened up the latest investigation.
“I don’t want to comment on exact dates right now,” said Velazquez. “When there’s new developments and there’s reason to reopen and readdress it, that’s what has happened in this case.”
7News asked the chief if any new accusers have come forward. He said he couldn’t confirm nor deny.
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