For at least four years, the Hialeah Police Department in South Florida was aware that one of its detectives was accused of sexually assaulting four women and girls, threatening to arrest them if they told anybody.
One of the victims was a 14-year-old girl who accused Hialeah Police Detective Jesus “Jesse” Menocal Jr. of forcing her to perform oral sex on him.
But Hialeah Police Chief Sergio Velazquez said he was unable to discipline Menocal because of “departmental policies,” according to the Miami Herald.
Now it is being revealed that Menocal also bragged about having sex with a female internal affairs detective who protected him from rape allegations in exchange for his sexual services. The internal affairs detective has not been named at this time.
“You can’t kill a beast, you can’t knock me down,” Menocal said, according to the documents obtained by the Miami Herald. “I’m a beast.”
Perhaps Menocal had reason to brag considering local authorities from his own department up to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office refused to arrest or charge him for sexually assaulting at least six victims since at least 2014. He even received a raise during that time.
It was not until the FBI stepped in and arrested him in 2019 that the cop was finally fired. He’s been free on a $250,000 bond while awaiting trial which is scheduled for May.
Since the initial arrest, more victims have come forward, including a woman who said she was 19 years old when Menocal forced her to perform oral sex on him by taking her to an area in the police station where surveillance cameras would not record them.
But there are probably many more victims that have not come forward, considering video surveillance recorded him taking 11 different women into the substation during a one-month period in 2015.
According to the Miami Herald:
The new federal charge stems from an alleged incident on May 31, 2015, when a 19-year-old woman was driving in a car with her boyfriend and began banging her head against the vehicle’s window and talking about killing herself, prosecutors said. The boyfriend drove her to a Hialeah police substation for help. Instead, officers handcuffed the woman and her boyfriend after finding cocaine and marijuana in the car.
Menocal was the ranking officer on scene, according to a court document detailing the allegation. The decorated former sergeant, “who was much taller and larger than the [victim],” approached the handcuffed young woman and repeatedly told her he would release her if she performed oral sex on him, prosecutors said. (Despite his promise to release her, Menocal had no such power under Florida’s Baker Act.)
Under duress, the woman eventually agreed to Menocal’s demands for oral sex, according to the document.
Menocal then told her to ask to use the substation’s bathroom, which she did, and escorted her into the substation — something captured on exterior surveillance cameras, prosecutors say. Once inside, Menocal took her to an area that was out of view of the facility’s cameras. There, it is alleged, Menocal took off her handcuffs and made her perform oral sex — before putting the cuffs back on her wrists and telling her not to tell anyone about what had happened. He ignored her questions about why she was not being released and placed her in the backseat of a Hialeah police vehicle. Another officer then drove her to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.
The victim was identified thanks to the surveillance footage. Other footage showed Menocal taking a total of 11 women into the substation in a one-month period between May and June 2015, according to the government.
One of the victims was a 30-year-old woman named Suzie Betancourt, who reported him to internal affairs in November 2015 for sexually assaulting her, claiming he had threatened to kill her if she ever dared report him.
Betancourt died five months later after falling out of a moving car, an incident ruled an accident but her family believes there is more to the story. Below is a screenshot posted by Betancourt’s brother on the Miami Herald’s Facebook post on this article.
Menocal comes from a prominent yet corrupt police family in Miami. He is the son of a retired police chief who was applying to become a Miami police officer in the 1980s when he was implicated in a cocaine heist along with his twin brother, Ignacio, who was a police officer.
The allegations resurfaced in 2013 when Jesus Menocal Sr. was named police chief of the Sweetwater Police Department in Miami-Dade County, a position he had previously held. Menocal took over the department that year after an FBI investigation into several officers led to the retirement of the previous chief.
In a taped conversation with a police informant posing as a drug trafficker, Menocal Sr. and his brother discussed plans to steal cocaine from people who had purchased it from the dealer under the guise of a drug stop. The plan was to return the cocaine to the dealer for $10,000 where he would then resell it. At the time, cocaine was going for about $30,000 a kilo.
The cops never went through with the plan, according to an investigation by the Miami Police Department at the time and Menocal went on to be hired at the Sweetwater Police Department where he eventually became police chief.
The Menocal family now run a firearms training school called Menocal International Training.
Read one of the complaints against him from one of this victims.