Former Hialeah Police Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Three Civil Rights Offenses
A former Hialeah Police Department Sergeant pleaded guilty today to three counts of depriving women of their civil rights under color of law by sexually abusing them.
Jesus Manuel Menocal Jr., 34, of Miami was previously charged with three counts of depriving women of their civil rights under color of law.
At the change of plea hearing held today before U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams, Menocal admitted that he kissed a woman and caused her to touch his exposed penis; had a second woman, who was in psychiatric crisis, perform oral sex on him; and coerced a third woman, who was walking alone at night, into submitting to oral and vaginal sex. While not directly related to the offenses to which he pleaded guilty, Menocal also admitted to bringing a fourth female into a Hialeah Police Department building and ordering her to remove her shorts and underwear, causing her to expose her buttocks to him. Menocal admitted that he was on-duty and in uniform during all of these acts, abusing his official authority.
“We will not stand by idly when law enforcement officials abuse their power and position to sexually exploit and harm women,” said Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. “The Civil Rights Division will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute government officials who use the power of their office to sexually abuse and harm vulnerable people in their communities. We hope that this conviction sends a strong message to survivors of law enforcement sexual misconduct, that their allegations will be investigated and taken seriously.”
“Menocal sexually exploited the very people he swore to protect,” said U.S. Attorney Juan Antonio Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida. “He betrayed his oath as a police officer and cast a dark shadow over the outstanding work done by the fine law enforcement professionals who serve our communities. Such egregious civil rights violations will not be tolerated.”
“Jesus Menocal is a predator who disgraced the badge he once wore by using his status as a police officer to sexually abuse women,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge John J. Bernard of FBI Miami. “His actions are depraved and serve only to diminish the hard work and professionalism of the vast majority of South Florida law enforcement officers who follow their oath of office and whose conduct is above reproach.”
Menocal is scheduled for sentencing on May 12, 2022. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of three years in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the Hialeah Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Edward N. Stamm and Monica K. Castro of the Southern District of Florida, and Trial Attorney Kyle Boynton and Special Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.