Miami Police lieutenant arrested on rape charges in Palm Beach

“As law enforcement officers we are held to a higher standard in society, on and off duty," said police director Alfredo Ramirez

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The Miami-Dade Police Department announced the arrest and suspension of a lieutenant on Saturday morning.

Lt. John Jenkins Jr., with 20 years of experience in law enforcement, was booked on Friday at Palm Beach County Jail and currently faces two counts of sexual assault and battery, according to Local 10.

The charges against Jenkins stemmed from an event in April at the Police Benevolent Association Officer’s Ball in Palm Beach Gardens.

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Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez released an official statement where he expressed his disappointment in Jenkins’ actions.

“As law enforcement officers we are held to a higher standard in society, on and off duty. Immediately after being notified of an incident that occurred off duty on April 25, 2021, in the City of Palm Beach Gardens, I ordered for John Jenkins Jr. to be relieved of his official duties as a Miami-Dade Police Department lieutenant,” the statement said.

“Now learning of his arrest, it has brought a sense of disappointment that is immeasurable. This is a serious matter and I am confident that the City of Palm Beach Gardens Police Department will continue to carry out a thorough investigation.”

A patch is seen on the shoulder of a police officer as the City of Miami’s new Police Chief Art Acevedo speaks to the media during his introduction at City Hall on March 15, 2021 in Miami, Florida. Acevedo is leaving his job as police chief in Houston, Texas to take over Miami’s police department of about 1,400 officers. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

According to CBS Miami, in 2018, Jenkins was the first African American to be the Executive Vice President for the South Florida Police Benevolent Association (PBA).

Steadman Stahl, president of the PBA released a statement in light of Jenkins’ charges: “The South Florida PBA is appalled and deeply saddened by the charges against Lt. Jenkins, who had previously resigned from his position with the PBA.”

“We take these charges very seriously and are cooperating with this investigation fully. Because this remains an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further and ask that any additional media inquiries be directed to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department,” he continued.

NBC Miami reported that Jenkins resigned from the association last week.

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Jenkin’s attorney Heidi Perlet issued a statement on Saturday about the former lieutenant, who began working for the department in 1996.

“Lt. Jenkins is looking forward to having his day in court to clear his name and reputation. He has been committed to serving his community and has been a man of the law for 25 years,” Perlet said. “This situation involves two married consenting adults who have known each other for many years. Anything that may have occurred was consensual.”

A judge ordered for Jenkins not to have contact with the victim with bail set for $20,000 for both counts.

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