Miami-Dade Police Sergeant Accused of Lewd and Lascivious Act With Teen Boy

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A veteran Miami-Dade Police sergeant was arrested after authorities said he gave a 15-year-old boy drugs and alcohol and groped him. NBC 6's Laura Rodriguez reports. (Published Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014)

    A veteran Miami-Dade Police sergeant was arrested after authorities said he gave a 15-year-old boy drugs and alcohol and groped him.

    James H. Edwards, 47, is facing felony charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child under 16, lewd and lascivious exhibition of a child under 16 and possession of a controlled substance, court records showed.

    He was booked into jail early Wednesday and later released on bond.

    Edwards, a 27-year veteran of the force, was granted $85,500 bond and will be on house arrest and can't access the internet or have contact with minors, the Miami Herald reported.

    "He's just a good guy. I was just shocked when I heard those allegations," his defense attorney, Michael Catalano told NBC 6. "Right now, all I know is that someone I've always liked and respected is in serious trouble, and it's never fun to have a friend in trouble."

    According to an arrest report, Edwards had invited the teen to his home to so landscaping work earlier this month. Once they got there, Edwards gave the teen "honey whiskey," marijuana and the amphetamine known as Molly, the report said.

    Edwards also took a Molly and the two watched a pornographic movie on the Internet, the report said. Edwards began touching and caressing the teen and masturbated, the report said.

    Once he was arrested, Miami-Dade Poceli said Edwards was read his rights and "admitted to masturbating in the victim's presence, giving the victim marijuana, and giving the victim a molly pill.

    Edwards was arrested in a similar case involving the boy's 16-year-old brother, who he was accused of giving drugs to and showed pornography. Police said Edwards also admitted to the allegations after being read his rights.

    "We take this crime very seriously and we are allowing investigators to work together with the state attorney's office in order to gather all the facts," said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

    Miami-Dade Police asked anyone who has had a similar encounter with with the officer to come forward by calling Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS (8477).

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