Miami mayor’s aide charged after allegedly groping, sending explicit photo to minor

WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A man who worked as an aide to the City of Miami’s mayor has been arrested for some serious allegations involving a 16-year-old boy within the walls of City Hall.

7News cameras captured Rene Pedrosa quickly walking past a crowd of reporters and photographers after he bonded out of jail, Friday night.

The 48-year-old was taken into custody at his home on Friday morning and is currently facing four felony charges, including battery, promoting sexual performance by a child and electronic transmission of material harmful to minors.

At a news conference Friday afternoon, City of Miami Police Chief Jorge Colina provided further details about their investigation.

“These are very serious charges, very serious charges, and we want to make sure that he is held accountable and to the letter of the law like anyone else,” said Colina.

Pedrosa, a longtime local TV news reporter, recently worked as a communications director to City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez.

According to the Miami Herald, Pedrosa resigned from his position earlier this week, telling the mayor he was involved in a “personal misconduct” investigation.

According to the arrest report, Pedrosa lured the victim to City Hall in late November for an interview about a web page design. While inside, the teen told detectives, Pedrosa “grabbed the victim’s hand, kissed him on the lips and grabbed his buttocks.”

The teen also told police Pedrosa “grabbed the victim’s hand and placed it on the defendant’s erect penis.”

The child was an acquaintance of Pedrosa, according to the incident report.

Detectives said it didn’t stop at City Hall. Days later, the arrest report states, Pedrosa used social media in order to persuade the teen to come to his home for sex.

The victim told authorities Pedrosa solicited a picture from him and also sent a picture of his penis to him on Jan. 19.

At one point, the arrest report states, the suspect sent the victim a message that reads, “”I’m dying to sleep with you.”

The teen and his family eventually went to the police with the allegations.

Detectives executed a search warrant at Pedrosa’s home on Jan. 28 and seized multiple computers and phones.

“Right now, Secret Service is helping us, combed through every one of the devices that we seized,” said Colina. “When we served that warrant, there were seven devices. On one of those devices, we were able to get information that allowed us to be able to charge, but that doesn’t mean that we’re done.”

Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo was also on hand at the news conference to address the allegations.

“I think it is very appropriate, someone from the government of the City of Miami, to step up and apologize,” he said.

Suarez has not commented on the incident on camera and did not attend an event on his schedule, Friday afternoon, but his office released a statement following Pedrosa’s arrest:

“I have been made aware that Rene Pedrosa was taken into custody. I want to thank the Miami Police Department for expeditiously dealing with this matter. The residents of Miami deserve the highest standards from municipal employees. I will always work to ensure that my administration delivers accountability and takes action to uphold those standards. I have spoken to the mother of the reported victim and assured her that this is handled to the full extent of the law. My thoughts are with the reported victim and the family and we expect the legal process to take its course.”

Meanwhile, police said they still have a lot of work to do in this case.

“I do want to stress that this investigation is not over. If there are other victims, we certainly encourage them to come forward,” said Colina.

Friday night, Pedrosa declined to comment on the charges as he left the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. He held up a peace sign as he drove off.

Because Pedrosa is so well-known, a prosecutor from the Broward State Attorney’s Office will be coming to Miami to handle this case.

Friday night, 7News attempted to reach Suarez for comment, but a news crew was turned around by someone guarding his home.

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