The Fort Myers Police Department has been facing a significant amount of criticism for years for its ”corruption and toxic culture” along with the “unethical behavior [displayed] by its officers,” highlights the News-Press, and perhaps after a recent video surfaced, the public can understand why. The news outlet recently shared a video from a prostitution sting operation that occurred back in 2013 involving Captain Jay Rodriguez who had been assigned with the task of investigating a massage parlor.
At the time of the investigation, Rodriguez was working with the Special Investigation Group and received a lanyard with a “hidden spy camera.” Apparently, Rodriguez “did not know how to operate the recording device and failed to properly turn it off” which led to an incident, which he is now being recognized for, being captured on film. In the video, Rodriguez is seen entering the massage parlor, owned by Chen Ya, and being escorted to a room by a female employee. He was allegedly told that it would cost $120 for a “manual sex act” and $30 more for oral sex. As the video continued recording, Rodriguez was then seen handing the woman money and later pulling up the beige pants he had entered the parlor wearing. He claimed, however, that after the woman attempted to remove his underwear, he said he would have to come back later.
After Rodriguez left the parlor, Ya and the woman who was said to have performed the sex act on the captain were later arrested. Ya was charged with “living off earnings of prostitution, a third-degree felony, and driving without a license” and her employee, Ma Aimian was arrested for soliciting prostitution. The incident report was later written up by Lt. Rebecca Prince, and although it contained the details mentioned above, it failed to disclose some others.
The News-Press highlighted that Prince’s report did not include what actually played out in the video. Apparently, the news source had to edit out some“nudity, sexual images, and utterances,” that were seen and heard in the footage, all of which suggest that Rodriguez didn’t actually leave the parlor, rather, he stayed and engaged in a sexual act with the employee. Based on the full video footage, after the woman returned to the room where Rodriguez was waiting, the audio “clearly records the voices of the officer encouraging the woman to increase the intensity of the act.”
Rodriguez’s face was not captured in the video footage at the time of the act. Prince’s report also did “not mention that there was a secret video recording of the operation.”
Why is this evidence now surfacing after six years?
It appears that based on the report Prince wrote up, certain details were never disclosed, and the case was never revisited. The state attorney declined to file charges against Ya “due to insufficient evidence” and the Lee County Clerk of Court website “showed no records for [Aimian nor does] her arrest record appear on the Lee County Sheriff’s Office website.” While no further action was taken on the case, it wasn’t until recently after a complaint was filed by O’Neil Kerr, a former police officer with the department, that the case was reopened, this time with Rodriguez being the suspect. Kerr’s complaint accuses Rodriguez “of sexual contact with the woman while on duty.”
According to the source, Kerr sent in the actual video footage that was captured on Rodriguez’s spy camera which contained the details Prince failed to include her report. It goes on to explain that Kerr had a “contentious” history with Rodriguez, who was his supervisor at the time, as he was terminated twice from the department but was later reinstated and sued the city. According to Kerr’s complaint, “the booking sheet did not reflect the accurate events that occurred,” and “the evidence was not turned over to the state for proper prosecution.”
Kerr went on to explain that at the time Rodriguez turned in the video, he asked that the contents be deleted, “but it was instead uploaded and saved.” Kerr submitted his complaint to the city back in December and after noticing that no form of action was being taken, he contacted the city again on January 12th, 2019. After waiting a few weeks and seeing nothing being done, he then provided the city with the video footage on February 8th. When questioned about the video, Rodriguez responded with, “I have nothing to say.”
Rodriguez is a 20-year police veteran and has received several promotions throughout the course of his career. He “serves as a spokesman for the Fort Myers police and oversees school resource officers.”
Why must an individual hire a criminal defense attorney after being arrested in Fort Myers?
Aside from the fact that this incident might only fuel the allegations that are constantly aimed at the Fort Myers Police Department for being “corruptive” and “toxic,” it shows that the officers responsible for writing up reports regarding criminal acts aren’t always being truthful and disclosing the pertinent information that is required to be provided. It also shows that individuals can face criminal charges, even without sufficient evidence and because of the falsified police reports that are written, it only makes it harder for them to fight the criminal charges that could put them away for years. With that said, anyone who is facing a criminal charge in Fort Myers, FL should retain a criminal defense lawyer immediately after being arrested.
The fact is, you need someone on your side who is going to investigate the matter and determine if any parties, including the police, are being honest. FL criminal defense lawyer Michael M. Raheb is that attorney. If you need help fighting a criminal charge filed against you in Fort Myers, FL, contact the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. today at 866-949-0888.
You can also visit the Law Offices of Michael M. Raheb, P.A. which is located at:
2423 First Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901