TAMPA — A jury convicted a Temple Terrace man Wednesday of pretending to be a police officer and threatening to take away a pregnant woman's children and notify immigration authorities if she didn't have sex with him.
Edwin Nieves, 39, was found guilty of kidnapping, aggravated battery on a pregnant female and impersonating a police officer.
He had no criminal record before this incident. Now, he faces up to life in prison when he is sentenced April 10.
Tampa police said Nieves, a security officer who has never been employed by any local law enforcement agency, showed up at the woman's home on July 5. He said he was a police officer and wore police attire.
The woman, who was seven months pregnant, said she got into Nieves' car after he told her that she was being taken into custody because of immigration violations. But after they drove a few blocks, he said he would let her go in exchange for sex.
He then began to fondle the woman, authorities said. She was able to get away before things went further.
Nieves told a different story on the stand Tuesday.
He acknowledged going to the woman's house and flashing his security officer badge.
Using his badge, he admitted, "was stupid." But Nieves said he never forced her into his car or called himself a police officer. He said nothing improper took place.
Jurors deliberated about two hours before finding him guilty.
Nieves' attorney, Bryant Camareno, said he plans to appeal the verdict.