According to WFLA, a 28-year-old police officer from Miramar, Jose Robell Hernandez, has been arrested after allegations of engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Hernandez appeared before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely on Friday, June 23, 2023, where he was instructed to have no contact with the victim.
The shocking revelations came to light on April 13th, 2023 when the victim experienced a mental health crisis following a pregnancy scare. During subsequent interviews with the Miami Gardens Police and Fort Lauderdale Police, the teenager disclosed that she had been involved in a consensual sexual relationship with Officer Hernandez.
According to the arrest report, the young girl and Hernandez initially connected on the popular dating app Tinder back in March. After their online interactions, they arranged to meet at a hotel in Hialeah. At the hotel, they undressed, engaged in conversation, and shared kisses. The report further states that sexual activity took place during the encounter.
However, following the hotel encounter, the victim noticed a decrease in communication from Hernandez. Her attempts to reach out to him and salvage their connection were unsuccessful, and she found that things were not the same. Significantly, the victim confirmed that she never disclosed her age to Hernandez during their interactions.
The situation took a distressing turn when the victim informed Hernandez about a potential pregnancy due to missed menstrual cycles. Allegedly, Hernandez responded via text, denying the possibility of impregnation due to medical shots.
After his court appearance, Hernandez was released upon posting bond. Nevertheless, he was ordered to have no contact with the victim as the investigation unfolds. In response to these deeply concerning allegations, Miramar Police Chief Delrish Moss issued a statement underscoring the department's unwavering commitment to professionalism and accountability. He emphasized that any misconduct allegations are treated seriously and will not be tolerated within the force.
As the criminal investigation into Hernandez's relationship with the teenage girl continues, he has been suspended without pay. Authorities are diligently examining the details surrounding this case, ensuring that justice is served and accountability is maintained.
In light of the recent arrest of Miramar Police Officer Jose Robell Hernandez, accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old girl, concerns have been raised about cases where individuals in positions of power, such as law enforcement officers, exploit their authority to victimize others. To shed light on this matter, we sat down with Michael Haggard, a prominent sexual abuse attorney based in Florida, to discuss the options available to survivors abused by a police officer.
Darla Medina: Thank you for joining us today, Mr. Haggard. Given your expertise in sexual abuse cases, could you provide some insights into what survivors can do when facing abuse by those in positions of authority, specifically in cases involving law enforcement officers?
Michael Haggard: Thank you for having me, Darla. It's crucial for survivors to understand that they have legal recourse and avenues to pursue justice in such cases. When a police officer abuses their power to exploit a victim, it is an egregious violation of trust and a breach of their duty to protect. In these situations, survivors can consider filing a civil lawsuit against the officer and potentially the law enforcement agency involved.
Darla Medina: What are the primary objectives survivors hope to achieve through civil cases in these instances?
Michael Haggard: Civil cases can serve several important purposes. Firstly, they allow survivors to seek compensation for the harm they have endured, including physical, emotional, and psychological damages. This compensation can help cover medical expenses, therapy costs, and other related financial burdens. Secondly, civil cases can bring public attention to the misconduct, raising awareness and potentially preventing similar abuses in the future. Lastly, these cases can hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions and provide a sense of closure and justice for the survivors.
Darla Medina: What challenges do survivors typically face when pursuing civil cases against police officers?
Michael Haggard: Pursuing a civil case against a police officer can be daunting, as it often involves going up against powerful institutions and individuals. Survivors may face obstacles such as intimidation, fear of retaliation, or skepticism from the public. It's important for survivors to have strong legal representation to navigate these challenges and protect their rights. Seeking an experienced sexual abuse attorney is crucial to ensuring a fair and just legal process.
Darla Medina: How can survivors strengthen their case in situations where the alleged abuse involves a police officer?
Michael Haggard: Evidence is key in these cases. Survivors should collect any available evidence, such as text messages, emails, or other documentation that supports their claims. It is also crucial to identify any witnesses who may have observed or have knowledge of the abusive relationship. Moreover, survivors should seek legal advice as early as possible to ensure the preservation of evidence and to follow the appropriate legal procedures.
Darla Medina: Finally, what message would you like to convey to survivors of abuse who may be hesitant to come forward or pursue legal action against a police officer?
Michael Haggard: I want survivors to know that they are not alone. It takes immense courage to speak out against abuse, especially when the abuser is someone in a position of authority. By coming forward, survivors are not only taking steps towards healing and seeking justice for themselves, but they are also potentially protecting others from falling victim to similar abuses. Legal professionals and support networks are available to guide and advocate for survivors throughout their journey.