In the last few months, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office began to examine disturbing reports it was receiving regarding one of its own deputies, says Broward criminal attorney William Moore. Now, former Sheriff’s deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss has been openly accused of committing sex crimes. He was relieved of his patrol duties in the middle of July and eventually charged with 14 crimes stemming from the investigation, Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore has learned.
Bleiweiss has been charged with multiple counts of sexual battery by a person in an authoritative position and simple battery, in addition to a single count of stalking. Prosecutors believe that Bleiweiss conducted late-night or early morning traffic stops in his patrol area under false pretenses. Once he had pulled over Latino men, he harassed them sexually, even bullying some into engaging in sex acts with him. Bleiweiss is accused of targeting undocumented immigrants, who may have been especially reluctant to report the offenses to law enforcement officials.
Fort Lauderdale criminal lawyer Moore says that Bleiweiss has been held in custody since he was charged. His accusers – at least eight men – picked him out of a photo lineup in a process that began last month. His alleged victims reported to investigators that he patted them down after requiring that they get out of the car. During the pat-down, Bleiweiss is accused of fondling them. At least some of the men agreed to give the deputy their cell phone numbers, which were allegedly used to contact the victims and to arrange meetings for sexual activity.
One of the victims says he was targeted by Bleiweiss on five different occasions during a period of just two and a half months this past spring. The man says that the deputy continued sending him text messages and calling him, despite his efforts to resist the officer’s advances.
Broward criminal defense lawyer Moore says that the charges against Bleiweiss have tainted the ability of the State Attorney’s Office to prosecute certain crimes. Unable to call Bleiweiss as a witness, prosecutors will be forced to drop some charges altogether. There are at least some criminal defendants whose alleged crimes were witness only by the former deputy and without his testimony, there will be extremely limited evidence – if any at all – that a crime was committed.
Broward criminal lawyer William Moore has years of experience in criminal defense, including sex crimes and DUI. A felony or misdemeanor conviction of any type can have far-reaching consequences on your freedom, your employment, and your personal life. If you have been arrested in south Florida, contact William Moore, P.A., with offices in Fort Lauderdale-Dade, Broward, and Fort Lauderdale Counties.