The first openly gay deputy from
Broward County, Florida to be named Employee of the Year is facing
allegations of on-duty sexual abuse, the South Florida
Prosecutors are accusing Broward
Sheriff's Deputy Jonathan Bleiweiss of intimidating at least eight
illegal immigrants into performing various sexual acts. He faces 14
criminal charges, with more being considered.
Bleiweiss, 29, is accused of scaring
the undocumented men into sex after pulling them over during routine
traffic stops. He is also accused of stalking some of the men after
they stopped returning his calls, court documents reveal.
The seven-year veteran deputy was taken
into custody Monday and remains jailed without bail.
Defense lawyer Eric Schwartzreich
dismissed the charges, saying there is no “physical evidence to
support the allegations.”
In March, Bleiweiss was named Oakland
Park Employee of the Year and honored during a City Hall
ceremony. Bleiweiss' beat includes a large gay population.
“Gay people actually say to me that
I'm homophobic,” he told gay weekly South Florida Blade in
March, “and that I'm going to discriminate against them because
they are gay. They feel that they are being treated differently when
actually they're being treated like everyone else.”
Schwartzreich said he plans to seek a
new bail hearing for his client.