German Bosque, the Opa-locka police sergeant with a long history of beating allegations of misconduct, did not escape the rap this time.
Jurors Thursday convicted Bosque, 50, of falsely imprisoning a youth counselor who tried to file a complaint against him at the Opa-locka police station in August 2011.
After two hours of deliberations, the Miami-Dade jury also convicted Bosque of tampering with a witness.
Both charges are felonies. He faces anywhere from probation to 10 years in prison on those counts.
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He was acquitted of a misdemeanor battery charge.
Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Miguel de la O did not send Bosque to jail after the verdict, placing him under house arrest instead, with a $50,000 bond, pending his sentencing hearing.
The verdict was a stinging rebuke to Bosque, who insisted that he was a good cop unfairly maligned by the news media. He earned infamy for remaining employed as a police officer despite an internal affairs history of more than 40 complaints, including allegations that he beat up youths, hid drugs in his cop car and called in sick to take a vacation in Mexico.
Prosecutor Sandra Miller-Batiste called it a “bittersweet” victory because cops are expected to protect the public.
“It’s never a good thing when you have to take down a police officer,” Miller-Batiste said.
Over the years Opa-locka, a small city with a history of dysfunction, fired Bosque six times. Five times he got his job back, helped by city politics, a powerful police union and bungled internal affairs investigations.
Before working in Opa-locka, Bosque had been booted from the police academy twice and fired from two other departments.
The final straw, Miami-Dade prosecutors said, came in August 2011.
Bosque was called to a domestic dispute between city-employed youth counselor Korey Davis and the mother of his infant son.
Davis, a former scholarship tennis player at Grambling University, was sitting in his car outside the woman’s house with the infant on his lap. He had gotten into a heated argument with the woman, and refused to give the child back.
Prosecutors said Bosque arrived, reached into Davis’ car, turned it off, opened the door, ripped the baby away and punched Davis in the eye.
Miller-Batiste scoffed at any notion that Bosque was protecting the public that day.
“Does that mean you can punch somebody?” she asked jurors during Thursday’s closing arguments. “No, that’s above the law. That’s an abuse of authority.”
Davis gave up the baby and immediately drove to the police station to file a complaint. There, according to prosecutors, Bosque hurled Davis’ cellphone across the police lobby and handcuffed Davis.
Bosque yelled and cursed at Davis but after about 20 minutes, allowed Davis to leave without an arrest.
Bosque had been confident earlier that he would beat the charges, telling reporters at the beginning of the trial that he would prevail.
“I’ve always landed on my feet. The media has always gotten it all wrong,” Bosque said. “I am a good officer.”
On Thursday, he said he was “hurt, disappointed [and] surprised” by his conviction, but stood by his actions that night with Davis.