A former Miami cop accused of fondling a woman in the back of his patrol car escaped armed kidnapping and sexual battery charges Monday but now faces charges for buying $60,000 worth of cocaine from a confidential informant.
In 2011, Luis Hernandez picked up the 44-year-old victim from police headquarters to transport her to the Miami-Dade County jail after she was arrested following a bar brawl.
But instead of taking her to the jail, he drove her to a parking lot and told her, “I’m going to help you.”
Hernandez then handed the Spanish-speaking immigrant some gauze and told her to clean up her face and then poured a liquid on her breasts.
He then removed his duty belt and told her to “get down”, demanding oral sex.
When she refused, Hernandez began fondling her and later ordered her to turn around. She begged him to stop.
When Hernandez and the victim arrived at the jail, a detention officer asked Hernandez to accompany him while he treated her wounds. That’s when the Spanish-speaking woman told a Spanish-speaking detention officer the story that launched the investigation against the former cop.
Hernandez was allowed to resign as internal affairs began its investigation, eventually arresting him in 2013 after linking DNA from the woman’s stomach to the officer.
Joseph Rosenbaum, Hernandez’s attorney, said the DNA was ‘misleading’ because the victim’s shirt was ripped during the bar fight and that it likely got there when he handcuffed her hands in front of her stomach.
Rosenbaum accused the victim of making up the allegations only because she wanted to stay in the country. He said his client never should have been arrested because it was a “shoddy investigation,” since there was no video evidence.
The Miami-Dade State Attorneys Office dropped charges on April 25 for sexual battery and armed kidnapping in spite of the DNA evidence because investigators said they were unable to locate her.
“We made a great effort to locate her but to no avail,” said a state attorney’s spokesman.
But 30-year-old Hernandez hasn’t escaped legal trouble.
Earlier this year, Hernandez believed he was buying drugs from a drug dealer when he handed $60,000 to an undercover drug informant for two kilos of cocaine. It turned out, the informant was accompanied by an undercover detective, who arrested him in the drug sting.
Upon his arrest, police searched Hernandez’s car and found 7.2 grams of Oxycodone, a digital scale and a large quantity of syringes.
Hernandez was out on bail awaiting trial for sexual assault when he negotiated the drug deal by phone and later inspected the cocaine at an undisclosed location, according to the Miami Herald. He then handed over a white envelope with $60,000 inside and “took possession” of the cocaine, according to the police report.
Hernandez is now charged with cocaine trafficking and faces up to 30 years in prison.
Rosenabaum declined to comment about the new charges.