Jonathan Bleiweiss was once crowned “Officer of the Year” in his Oakland Park District in 2008. That title should be stripped after he recently admitted to raping 20 undocumented immigrants through intimidation. While the book would be thrown at a regular citizen with a sentence of life in prison, Bleiweiss’s privilege as a police officer got him a plea deal. He was able to plead guilty to 14 counts of armed false imprisonment, 15 counts of battery and four counts of stalking in exchange for five years in prison and 10 years of probation. He will not be forced to register as a sex offender under the plea deal.
Bleiweiss, a former Broward Sheriff’s deputy, was arrested in 2009 after word of his transgressions started spreading throughout the illegal immigrants in the community. 20 men who were living in this country illegally told investigators that Bleiweiss, an openly gay man, would fondle them as he patted them down and demanded that they give him their phone numbers. They were too scared to resist. It is reported that the incidents began in 2008 and Bleiweiss’s picture was posted in an Oakland Park soup kitchen warning people to avoid him.
Bleiweiss faced as many as 70 charges, many of which accused him of sexual battery. Lawsuits were filed in federal and state court, some of which were settled and other were dismissed. The resolved civil cases hurt prosecutors’ criminal case because the victims refused to testify. They had seven victims lined up to testify with about a dozen others waiting in the wing who claimed sexual abuse.
Only one of the immigrants bringing accusations against Bleiweiss showed up in court when he accepted the plea deal. It has been said that most of the victims have since been deported.