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Former prosecutor pressured woman into sex to ‘make her case go away,’ FDLE says

Juan Mercado, 29, charged with bribery

Former prosecutor Juan Mercado, 29, of Hialeah, is accused of offering to make a woman's criminal case "go away" in exchange for sex.
Former prosecutor Juan Mercado, 29, of Hialeah, is accused of offering to make a woman's criminal case "go away" in exchange for sex. (Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation)

HIALEAH, Fla. – A former Florida prosecutor pressured a woman into having sex with him in exchange for help with her criminal case, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Juan Mercado, 29, of Hialeah, was arrested Wednesday and charged with bribery.

Mercado served as an assistant state attorney in southwest Florida from May 2017 to February 2019.

According to an arrest warrant, the woman was being prosecuted for domestic battery in Collier County when Mercado offered to “make her case go away” in exchange for sex.

Mercado was not the prosecutor assigned to the case, but the FDLE said he accessed records and provided information and advice to the woman.

A graduate of Florida International University, Mercado opened his own law firm in Miami after leaving the state attorney's office.

The Mercado Law website touts him as having prosecuted more than 30 criminal trials, “so he knows all the tactics that will be used to try to convict you and how to shut them down.”

According to the Florida Bar website, Mercado was admitted in 2017 and has never been disciplined. He remains eligible to practice law in the state, though likely not for much longer.