A Florida sergeant pulled over a young lesbian couple for making an illegal U-turn. Then he allegedly forced one to strip while he masturbated, threatening to arrest her if she didn’t comply.
According to the two women, who are 17 and 20 years old and remain anonymous, they were pulled over by Sgt. Jesus Menocal, Jr., who told the younger one to hop in the back of his vehicle. Menocal allegedly drove her to a police substation and brought her to a private room, where he asked her a series of obscene questions.
“[He asked me] how do I have intercourse, and I told him, ‘Why do I need to answer that? Why is that necessary?’” she told WSVN. “He insisted me to answer it, so I told him how me and my partner have intercourse, which is me and my girlfriend. After, he asked if I was a virgin. He asked me, if he was to test me right that moment, if I had any diseases on me.”
Then, she said, Menocal began rubbing his genitals, and told her she’d be arrested if she didn’t strip. After she took off her shorts, the Sgt. allegedly asked her if she was on her menstrual cycle. “He wanted me to take off my shirt and my bra together, and I told him, ‘No. Why do I have to do that? There’s no reason to do that,’” she said. Menocal allegedly responded, “Oh I thought you wanted to fuck.”
The teen was released with no charges after fifteen minutes, and she was never told why she was detained. The couple filed a complaint shortly thereafter, and believes the Sgt. may have sexually harassed others as well. Menocal has since been suspended with pay, and an investigation is pending.
“I’m terrified of the police right now,” the teen explained.
Although data is limited, sexual misconduct by police officers is a national problem. In 2010, the National Police Misconduct Reporting Project determined that, out of 618 officers tied to sexual misconduct investigations, 354 were accused of committing non-consensual acts — half of which involved minors. Bowling Green State University conducted a separate study of 398 non-federal law enforcement officers from 43 states, concluding that the majority of officers committed sex crimes while on the job, and 17 percent were either repeat offenders or victimized multiple people. And the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) previously informed Truthout that the organization’s hotline receives multiple calls about sexually violent acts committed by cops.
“This is a crime about power and control, and when you have people who are in a position of power who perpetrate that crime, it can really undermine a victim’s belief in systems or structures,” Vice President of Victims Services Jen Marsh told Truthout. However, no government or nongovernmental organization tracks sexual misconduct perpetrated by cops.