Broward deputy faces additional sexual assault charges

August 25, 2009 by  
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Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss, accused of preying on homeless men and illegal immigrants, remains jailed without bail

BROWARD COUNTY – A Broward sheriff’s deputy who was arrested on charges he stalked and sexually assaulted men searched police records to obtain photos and personal data on more than two dozen men and five prisoners he met while on duty, court documents show.

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Investigators found the information, printed from law enforcement databases, in a wooden chest in Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss’ bedroom, according to a search warrant filed Monday in Broward Circuit Court. The printouts also carried added notations, for instance “HOT JEEP GUY” and “HOT GUY IN TOYOTA ECHO,” said investigators, who matched the printouts to an activity log on Bleiweiss’ computer at work.

Bleiweiss, 29, initially faced 15 criminal charges stemming from one man’s allegations, but on Monday prosecutors added seven counts — including stalking, armed false imprisonment and sexual battery — relating to a second man’s statement. At least six other men have levied allegations against Bleiweiss, saying the deputy fondled, assaulted, threatened and harassed them. The men are all undocumented immigrants and almost didn’t report the incidents because they feared reprisal, officials said.

The second man told investigators that Bleiweiss pulled him over early one morning in April or May in Oakland Park and ordered him to sit in the backseat of the patrol car, where Bleiweiss then reportedly performed oral sex on him.

“Immediately afterwards, Jonathan Bleiweiss grabbed his flashlight and radio and exited the vehicle, asking [the victim] if he would like to do it again in the future,” Detective Graciela Benito wrote in an arrest report released Tuesday.

The alleged victim said that Bleiweiss pulled him over again three days later and fondled him.

Investigators said they could find no written record of the traffic stops.

Bleiweiss has been held at the Broward County Jail without bond since his arrest Aug. 3.

He remains employed by the Sheriff’s Office but has been suspended without pay. The criminal investigation is ongoing, as is an internal investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.

Before his arrest, Bleiweiss’ image was that of an openly gay deputy who excelled at his job and was a leader in the local gay community.

After his arrest, though, homeless men and undocumented immigrants in Oakland Park have come forward to tell reporters that they despised and feared Bleiweiss because he often harassed them for no reason.