Ex-Miami police officer Luis Hernandez, accused of fondling a woman in his patrol car back in 2011, has beaten the charge after the victim stopped cooperating with prosecutors.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Officer on Monday dropped sexual battery and armed kidnapping charges – but Hernandez, 30, hasn’t escaped legal trouble.
Earlier this year, in a case that did not hit the media, Hernandez was arrested after police say he paid $60,000 for two kilos of cocaine from someone he believed was a drug dealer, but was actually an undercover Hialeah detective. He is now charged with cocaine trafficking.
Hernandez was first arrested in 2013, and later resigned from the force.
Hernandez was a Miami police patrol officer back in November 2011, when he was supposed to transport a woman who had been arrested for simple battery to police headquarters. Instead, prosecutors claimed, Hernandez drove her to an area near the police station, saying “I am going to help you,” according to the arrest warrant.
Outside the patrol car, Hernandez poured a “liquid” on her and began fondling her, according to an arrest warrant. He also demanded oral sex but the crying woman refused. She later disclosed the alleged attack at the Miami-Dade jail.
DNA found on the woman’s stomach was linked to Hernandez, according to the warrant.
But his defense lawyer, Joseph Rosenbaum, said the DNA was misleading because the woman had a shirt that had been ripped to shreds in a bar-room fight before her arrest. DNA from Hernandez’s hands was likely transferred to her stomach when he was cuffing her hands in front of her belly, he said.
Video surveillance evidence was also lacking, said Rosenbaum, who insisted the undocumented woman made the allegations solely to try and stay in the country.
“It was a shoddy investigation and they had no evidence,” Rosenbaum. “He should have never been arrested.”
In recent months, the woman disappeared and stopped communicating with investigators. “We made a great effort to locate her but to no avail,” said Ed Griffith, a State Attorney’s spokesman.
Hernandez, of Doral, had been free on bail awaiting trial.
But in February, according to an arrest report, Hernandez hooked up with a supposed cocaine dealer who was actually a “registered confidential informant” for Hialeah police. In the sting, he was joined by an undercover Hialeah detective also posing as a dealer.
After negotiating the deal by phone, and inspecting the cocaine at an “undisclosed location” in Hialeah, the former cop handed over a white envelope with $60,000 inside and “took possession” of the drugs, the report said.
A search of Hernandez’s car turned up 7.2 grams of the painkiller Oxycodone, a digital scale and a “large quantity” of syringes.”
Rosenbaum declined to comment on the latest arrest.