Florida officer used police database as personal dating website to target at least 150 women
An investigation into Sgt. Leonel Marines alleged activities revealed "several hundred" questionable database queries involving women, some of them dating back as far as 2012.
A Florida police sergeant has been accused of using law enforcement database as his personal dating service through which he targeted at least 150 women. The officer also allegedly engaged in sexual activity with some of them while on duty, according to reports.
Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan on Thursday said that an internal probe was launched into Sgt. Leonel Marines, 36, in June last year after a citizen's complaint filed by an adult female and her parents.
According to Bevan, the complaint alleged that the officer followed her home after a "chance, brief encounter" in a parking lot earlier that day.
Marines, after reaching the woman's home, told her parents that he was there to speak with their daughter about a "domestic matter."
However, her parents refused his request after they realized that there was no need for the interaction with the sergeant.
The police chief added that the woman's parents asked for Marines' name and his supervisor's details, however, he refused to give it to them. A watch commander then confronted Marines about his behavior and he reportedly told him that he followed the woman home because her headlights were not working properly and he thought she might be impaired.
Ex-Florida cop accused of using police database to get dates, sex with women— New York Daily News (@NYDailyNews) March 9, 2019
Leonel Marines, 36, used his badge and database to try to get dates and have sex with nearly 150 women — via social media, cold calls and fake visits.https://t.co/R2Kx1rx0ej
"The two stories really didn’t match up," the chief said while addressing reporters. “And when it was brought to my attention, I ordered a further investigation into the incident, which ultimately led to an audit of Marines’ driver license and vehicle registration record use, as well as his patrol activity," according to the New York Post.
Bevan added that investigators later found a "very, very clear trend of Marines focusing on female versus male names" during his policing.
After the revelation, the 12-year law enforcement veteran was reassigned to desk duty and removed from patrol activities.
Bevan added that he was later stripped of his badge, gun, and uniform and was placed on administrative leave without pay. He later resigned in October.
An investigation into the officer's alleged activities revealed "several hundred" questionable database queries involving women, some of them dating back as far as 2012. Nearly five detectives working the case have interviewed nearly 150 women so far.
Bradenton Police Sergeant Leonel Marines abused database to call 150 women, police say - The Washington Post https://t.co/dZxgag2luB— Leon Dash (@DashDeCosta) March 11, 2019
Reports state that the probe later concluded that Marines had "negative and inappropriate direct contact" while both on and off duty with a smaller subset of women. A majority of women he contacted were Hispanic.
“To get right to the root of the matter, Leonel Marines was not utilizing this data for law enforcement purposes whatsoever,” Bevan told reporters.
“Instead, he was using it a variety of ways – from social media, cold telephone calls, visits to the their home under the guise of being there for police business, you name it – to try and get dates with these women," the police chief said, adding that she had met with most of the women involved in the smaller subset in an attempt to help them regain their trust in the police department.