Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Broward deputy charged with sexual assault on illegal immigrant

FORT LAUDERDALE — A Broward County sheriff's deputy has been accused of sexually assaulting a series of illegal immigrants, the youngest being 17.

Jonathan Bleiweiss, 29, an Eckerd College graduate who worked briefly with the St. Petersburg Police Department, faces 14 counts of sexual battery by someone in a position of authority, false imprisonment and stalking in connection with abusing one victim.

According to the arrest warrant, Bleiweiss is accused of performing oral sex on one man on at least four occasions. He ordered the man to comply or risk deportation, said sheriff's Detective Graciela Benito.

He also is suspected of intimidating at least eight men into performing sex acts with him during on-duty traffic stops in Oakland Park, north of Fort Lauderdale.

More charges are expected, officials said.

Bleiweiss targeted illegal immigrants who feared reprisal and whose culture would discourage them from reporting such an assault, officials said

His targets were men between 17 and 30, mostly Latino and all in the country illegally, Benito said.

She said that on multiple occasions, Bleiweiss stopped a victim, demanded an ID, then sexually abused him when he determined he was undocumented.

Further, he would demand cell phone numbers from victims and pursue them for more liaisons, officials said.

"They said if it had been anybody else, they would have reported the incidents, but it was different because he was a law enforcement officer," Benito said.

Computer records in St. Petersburg show that Bleiweiss worked for the St. Petersburg Police Department for three months, spokesman Bill Proffitt said Tuesday night. He was hired in August 2002 and resigned in November.

"I'm guessing he was hired as a cadet," Proffitt said. "He never obtained officer status."

The investigation began in April, when an attorney contacted the Fort Lauderdale Police Department to say two of his clients claimed to have been assaulted by Bleiweiss.

In March, the South Florida Blade reported that Bleiweiss became the first openly gay deputy to win the Employee of the Year Award for the Oakland Park Division. He earned $61,098 in base pay in 2008.

Information from the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Associated Press and Times staff was used in this report.

Broward deputy charged with sexual assault on illegal immigrant 08/04/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 4, 2009 10:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. On the Camino de Santiago, Day 20: 'This is Camino' sums up pretty much anything and everything when you take this journey


    Day 20: Puente Villarente to León: 12 km, 3 hours. Total for Days 1-20 = 465 km (289 miles)

  2. From the food editor: Three ways to curb your red meat cravings


    After a certain point in my life, it became a reliable joke at the house of one my best friends: Michelle loves meat.

  3. HomeTeam 100: Players 41-50


    Bulldog QB Charles Harrison III, (12) during the fourth quarter of the Zephyrhills at Nature Coast High School football game on Friday, 11/11/16.
  4. For Dunkirk veteran, movie brings back different memories

    Human Interest

    Movies like the World War II epic Dunkirk are popular escapes from reality.

    Fred Clutterbuck poses for a photo in front of the "Dunkirk" movie poster at the Cobb Theatre in Tyrone on Friday. Clutterback is a survivor of the Dunkirk evacuation. (EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times)
  5. Coquina Key Neighborhood Association to hold forum for District 6 council candidates

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Coquina Key Neighborhood Association is inviting residents to meet the crowded field of candidates running for St. Petersburg's City Council District 6 at a forum Monday evening.

    International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement-affiliated City Council candidate Eritha "Akile" Cainion pauses between answers during a forum at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront earlier this month. The Coquina Key Neighborhood Association plans to hold another forum on Monday evening from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Coquina Key Neighborhood Association Clubhouse, 3850 Pompano Drive SE. [LARA CERRI   |   Times]