Miami Beach

Commissioner files police complaint against candidate, says he exposed himself to her

Rafael Velasquez
Rafael Velasquez Miami Herald staff

Miami Beach Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez has filed a police report against a commission candidate, complaining that he exposed himself to her.

Rosen Gonzalez told the Miami Herald late Tuesday she had gone to police to tell them Rafael Velasquez, a candidate for the Group 2 commission seat in the Beach, flashed his penis while the two were in a car after having dinner Oct. 18

“I want to get a restraining order,” she said, referencing a Facebook post where Velasquez tagged her in a denial and tried to discredit her story.

Velasquez denied the accusation and said he was considering suing Rosen Gonzalez.

After Rosen Gonzalez made the accusation against Velasquez on Monday, two other women told the Miami Herald that Velasquez had sexually harassed them. A local publicist said he groped her while posing for a picture at a public event and later sent flirtatious text messages. A third woman said he made inappropriate comments to her when the two ran together on a slate of potential Democratic delegates backing Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

Despite mounting allegations, calls to drop his candidacy from the local Democratic party and the resignation of his campaign staff, Velasquez remained undeterred late Tuesday. He told the Herald the police complaint was “baseless” and said he was considering filing a defamation suit against Rosen Gonzalez after the Nov. 7 election.

Initially keeping the incident to herself, Rosen Gonzalez had supported Velasquez’s campaign until she decided to go public with her story following a conversation with a friend.

“I was telling her, ‘I can’t believe I’m getting this guy elected after what he’s done. It’s disgusting,’ ” she said. “And she said, ‘Well, just don’t.’ 

Rosen Gonzalez said Velasquez, who is married with two children, had stopped by her home about two weeks ago while campaigning in her neighborhood. The two went to dinner at Cafe Avanti in Mid-Beach.

She said that while she was driving him back to his car, he exposed himself.

Velasquez has strongly denied Rosen Gonzalez’s account. After insisting he was only complimenting his other two accusers, he issued an apology on Tuesday, saying he “never meant to offend anyone.”

He said he has no plans to drop out of the race.

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