HIALEAH (CBSMiami) – A former Hialeah police officer is headed to prison after being sentenced for sexually abusing young women.
Ex-Sgt. Jesus “Jesse” Menocal Jr. will spend three years locked up.
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“I was coming for justice and closure. I was glad he was able to get the max although that is not enough for him,” said victim Maley Dacosta.
The 34-year-old Menocal, a married father of two children, pleaded guilty to three counts of depriving women of their rights under the color of law and received the maximum sentence of 36 months.
Menocal’s attorneys asked that he given probation, saying he had no criminal history and was a good police officer. But a federal prosecutor said he had to be held accountable.
“He took advantage of young minors and used his badge to overrule his powers for his own gratification,” said Dacosta.
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Decosta said she felt compelled to do that after Menocal pleaded guilty in March.
The federal judge in this case said Menocal undermined the work of other police officers.
“He betrayed the trust of the city of Hialeah. He betrayed the police. He betrayed all the victims,” said Decosta.
Outside court, as he stood in front of Menocal’s mother and father, family spokesman Jeff Giordano had a message from them.
“I would like to say and extend the thanks from the family and those in law enforcement who stood behind him in this trying time,” he said. “Why did he take the plea? Well, this case is costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend.”
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Menocal will on a year of supervision after serving his sentence. His family says they hope it will be nearby because his father has been fighting cancer. Menocal will not have to turn himself until 60 days from now, July 11.