FEDERAL COURT

Miami-Dade police officer convicted in lewdness case

 

A seven-year Miami-Dade police veteran was found guilty on six of seven counts of depriving people of their civil rights.

jdeleon@MiamiHerald.com

A Miami-Dade police officer, who routinely stopped women drivers without cause and engaged in lewd conversations, was convicted in federal court Friday.

Prabhainjana Dwivedi, a seven-year veteran, was found guilty on six of seven counts of depriving people of their civil rights. He was found not guilty on the seventh count involving an undercover police officer.

Following the ruling, U.S. District Judge Jose Martinez immediately remanded Dwivedi back into custody pending sentencing scheduled for sometime in April, according to prosecutor Karen Gilbert. The trial began Monday.

Dwivedi faces up to a year in prison for each count.

A grand jury indicted Dwivedi after he was arrested by FBI agents Sept. 5 at Miami-Dade police headquarters.

Dwivedi, 33, was charged after an investigation into complaints filed for stops made in May and June of 2011 in which he detained “numerous women” for “unreasonable” length of time “without probable cause, reasonable suspicion or other lawful authority to conduct a stop,” a criminal complaint said.

None of the questionable stops were ever listed on his daily reports or called into dispatch.

According to the complaint, Dwivedi who worked overnight patrolling an area from Key Biscayne to Jackson Memorial Hospital, stopped a 24-year-old bartender who was driving from South Beach to Broward County on her way home from work at about 5:30 a.m. on June 25, 2011, in the area of the Golden Glades interchange.

The bartender, identified as M.F., was accused by Dwivedi of driving under the influence. Pleading her innocence, she requested to have a sobriety test performed. Her request was refused.

Noticing a child’s safety seat in the back seat, Dwivedi threatened M.F. that she would lose custody of her son if she were to be arrested on DUI charges, the criminal complaint said. Then the conversation turned sexual.

According to the complaint, Dwivedi, began to inquire about her surgically enhanced breasts and asked “if she had any scars or incisions from the surgery.”

Dwivedi then asked to see the scars. M.F. obeyed, lifting her shirt and exposing her breasts.

According to the complaint written by FBI special agent Susan Funk, “M.F. stated that Dwivedi did not touch her breast.”

, Dwivedi then allowed her to drive home, but said he would follow her to make sure she got safely home. Once at M.F.’s residence, Dwivedi said he was thirsty and asked for a glass of water. Once inside her home, he lingered for an hour speaking of his personal life.

In the end, Dwivedi left without ever reporting anything to dispatch or making any notes of the stop in his daily reports, the criminal complaint said.

A month earlier, Dwivedi made another questionable stop.

According to the complaint, Dwivedi stopped a19-year-old woman at 2:20 a.m. on May 27, 2011, on her way home from a nightclub with two friends. The woman, identified, as A.R., was informed the traffic stop was a result of a failure to turn on her headlights.

Dwivedi also claimed she was driving under the influence, but A.R. disputed the accusation.

A.R. was instructed to sit in the back seat of his marked cruiser and then Dwivedi “instructed A.R. to lower the zipper on the front of her dress down past her breasts to her mid-stomach” according to the complaint.

An hour and 20 minutes later, A.R. was on her way home without any citation and Dwivedi again made no mention or note of the stop, the complaint said.

Miami Herald staff writer Jay Weaver contributed to this report.

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