Cop who ran youth program charged with sex acts with girls

Author: the associated press
Police lights crime

MIAMI (AP) – A South Florida detective who oversaw a youth police program has been arrested on accusations of engaging in sex acts with young girls.

Florida Department of Law officials had been investigating 47-year-old South Miami Police Detective Joe Mendez after a complaint alleged that he had sexual interactions with multiple female cadets.

Mendez was arrested without incident Tuesday and was charged with eight counts of sexual performance by a minor and four counts of selling, giving or serving an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21. He is being held on a $42,000 bond. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney to comment on the case.

Mendez coordinated the Police Explorer Program for five years for his agency, which teaches youths about crime prevention and allows them to participate in community events.

Authorities say they believe there may be additional victims.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.