Miami-Dade police officer accused of child molestation appears in court
The Miami-Dade police lieutenant accused of fondling a young girl over two years won’t be getting out of jail anytime soon.
A judge on Friday ordered that Braulio Gonzalez, 44, remain behind bars until a special hearing can set to determine if he should be freed on bond before trial. He is charged with lewd and lascivious molestation and armed kidnapping.
His defense lawyers did not contest the ruling. Under Florida law, anyone charged with armed kidnapping is not immediately entitled to a bond. The attorneys declined to comment after Friday’s brief hearing.
Gonzalez is the fourth Miami-Dade police officer to be arrested over the past month. In unrelated cases, one officer was accused of kicking a handcuffed suspect. Another was charged with insurance fraud. And yet another was accused of IRS tax fraud.
Prosecutors say Gonzalez molested the girl from 2011 to 2013, when she was between the ages of 8 and 10. She recently disclosed what happened to a psychologist, who notified the Florida Department of Children and Families and police detectives.
Gonzalez, a Miami-Dade police officer since 1999, was most recently assigned to the Special Response Team, which is deployed to handle hostage situations, the serving of warrants and searches for dangerous fugitives.
He has been relived of duty with pay. The department said he’ll stop being paid when prosecutors file formal charges at arraignment.