Video has emerged showing a Miami Gardens cop who responded to a call about a woman running in traffic taking her to a hotel for sex instead of back to her home where she lived in July 2016.
The woman was too afraid to go to police.
“She didn’t run. She didn’t call the police. Because he was the police,” said attorney Stephan Lopez who represented the woman in a lawsuit, which has since been settled, along with attorney Phillip Ortiz.
“The surveillance videos clearly establish a complete departure from all law enforcement policies and procedures,” Ortiz said in a written statement to Local 10 News.
At the hotel, Miami Gardens Police Sergeant Javier Romaguera tells the hotel clerk the woman is a domestic violence victim, but that he can’t take her back to her home because her husband “beats the shit out of her.”
And that the the police can’t find him.
“It’s kind of sad,” Romaguera explains to the clerk.
“She’s just a baby. She’s Haitian, so she doesn’t speak English. Her parents brought her here so she could have an education. She comes here with her husband. He beats the shit out of her. We’re trying to find him, but she can’t go back to the house.”
“I would rather pay whatever because I have four daughters,” he told the clerk.
The problem with Romaguera’s story is he made no report of a domestic violence incident that night and, according to her friend, Jensen Mondesir, the woman isn’t married.
The woman only told Mondesir after he called the Miami Gardens Police Department to track her down.
But the department told him they dropped her off at her previous residence.
Mondesir eventually received a call from the woman and located her at the hotel where she told him what happened.
Together, they filed an internal complaint with police in November, as we reported about in January.
On the night of the incident, after picking her up, Miami Gardens police Sergeant Javier Romaguera radioed in claiming he was taking the woman to her former residence in Miramar.
“I’m giving a transport to a black female,” Romaguera can be heard saying to dispatch according to a recording obtained by Local 10.
Instead, he took her to the Stadium Hotel after midnight, booked a room and attempted to have sex with her, touching her breasts and neck before leaving when she refused his advances and began crying.
After watching footage of the event from the hotel for the first time, Mondesir said he found the video disturbing.
“When he’s walking up to the hotel, he’s holding her hand,” Mondesir said. “They’re very close. It’s not police conduct at all, any of these things that he is doing.”
“You wouldn’t assume a police officer would fabricate something that deep,” he added.
When Local 10 News investigative reporter Bob Norman questioned Romaguera, he refused to comment and laughed at the allegation before walking back inside his home.
Before settling the lawsuit, Stephen Lopez said he expected Romaguera to use his client’s mental health issues against her.
“He’s hoping that he can just point the finger and say, ‘She’s crazy, she’s making it up.'”
However, the video shown below shows his client’s version of events was accurate.
News 10’s Bob Norman‘s attempts to reach officer Romaguera after the video surfaced were unsuccessful.
And a message Norman left with the Miami-Dade Police Benevolent Association went unreturned.
The Florida State Attorney’s Office said it expects the FDLE to conclude its criminal investigation within the coming weeks.