Miami-Dade police lieutenant accused of molesting girl over course of 2 years

Police: Victim says she was verbally, physically abused by suspect

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Christian De La Rosa - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - A Miami-Dade police lieutenant was arrested Thursday on accusations that he molested a girl over the course of two years, authorities confirmed.

The lieutenant was identified by police as Braulio Gonzalez, who is a 19-year veteran of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

"Today, as a result of an ongoing investigation, detectives from our special victims bureau arrested a member of our agency. To say that I am shocked and disturbed at these serious allegations is an understatement," Miami-Dade Police Director Juan J. Perez said in a statement. "As I have said before, no one is above the law, and I offer the victim in the case my assurance of our commitment to a thorough investigation."

According to an arrest warrant, the child has not been around Gonzalez, 44, for five years. During the time she was around the suspect, he was verbally and physically abusive toward her, police said.

Police said the victim disclosed to her psychologist Sept. 5 that Gonzalez touched her inappropriately from 2011 to 2013, when she was between the ages of 8 and 10.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was notified and interviewed the child.

According to the arrest warrant, the girl said Gonzalez fondled her breasts, buttocks and vagina over and underneath her clothing.

The victim told investigators that the police lieutenant also forced her to touch him inappropriately.

According to the warrant, the victim recalled to detectives the first time she was sexually assaulted by Gonzalez, saying she was awakened by him pointing a gun at her head.

Police said the victim claimed Gonzalez told her he would kill her and a loved one who was sleeping in another bed in the same bedroom if she didn't follow him.

Authorities said Gonzalez then led the girl to his bedroom, where he had her lay down on his bed and molested her.

The arrest warrant stated that Gonzalez also forced the child to touch his penis. 

Gonzalez faces numerous charges, including four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child under 12 and one count of armed kidnapping of a child under 13.

"These are extremely serious allegations involving the victimization of a vulnerable child," Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement. "The charges represent a breach of trust by a law enforcement officer who has sworn to protect the community and uphold the law.  All victims of sexual crimes should feel confident that their voices will be heard and the alleged crimes against them will be investigated. No one is ever above the law."

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