Man Charged with Impersonating a Police Officer and Molesting a Woman

A 29-year-old Tampa, Florida man was arrested for allegedly posing as an off-duty cop and luring a woman into his 2006 Suzuki SUV where he supposedly fondled her in an inappropriate sexual manner.

The man evidently witnessed the 19-year-old female and her boyfriend arguing when he pulled up and allegedly explained to them that he was a police officer who was off-duty and wanted to question the woman about her boyfriend and give her a safe ride home. The boyfriend supposedly wanted to see the man’s badge, but the man allegedly said he couldn’t show his badge when he was off-duty and threatened to arrest the boyfriend. The girl went with the man in his SUV.

The man allegedly was captured on a Bank of America video camera around 1 a.m. because he told the girl he needed to make a withdrawal. According to a police report, he told the woman he would take her home but drove past it and parked in a CVS parking lot where he supposedly committed a sexual act on her.

Police reports indicate that the man was wearing a seatbelt and the girl was not. She allegedly fled the vehicle, hid in some nearby bushes and called 911.

The girl supposedly indentified the man from a photo pack.

The man was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with falsely impersonating an officer, kidnapping and sexual battery. He remains in jail and no bail has been determined as of yet.

According to the Innocence Project, eyewitness misidentification is single-handedly the largest cause of wrongful convictions throughout the United States. More than 75 percent of convictions made through eyewitness testimony have been overturned by DNA testing. Eyewitness testimony can be very persuasive to a judge and jury, but science and social research have proven that eyewitness identification is frequently unreliable and highly inaccurate.

Many sexual battery convictions are obtained strictly on eyewitness testimony, which could ruin the lives of innocent people. The memory of a witness can be contaminated, just like other pieces of evidence; if the information is not preserved delicately or retrieved meticulously it could be botched up and be rendered ineffective. Research shows that unlike a tape recording, the mind does not recall certain events in the exact way they may have happened, nor is the information remembered in the exact order.

If you have been arrested for a sexual battery charge in Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Attorneys immediately so that you can be protected against erroneous procedures and to ensure that your rights are fully protected from the start of your case to its finish.

If you have been charged with any type of sex crime in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Defense Lawyers online or call our Tampa and St. Petersburg office at 813-221-3200 or reach us toll-free at 866-608-5529.

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