A Miami-Dade police lieutenant and former high-ranking union member was charged with sexual battery late Friday and was booked into a Palm Beach County jail.
Lt. John Jenkins is charged with two counts of sexual battery, according to the Palm Beach Sheriff’s jail booking log. Details of the incident were not immediately available.
Just last week, Jenkins resigned as executive vice president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association. Now, he is also suspended with pay.
The sexual battery charges come after an alleged incident that took place while Jenkins was in Palm Beach Gardens for a police union gala, according to a report from The Miami Herald.
According to the website for the Palm Beach County PBA, the “Black-tie optional” 13th Annual PBA Officer’s Ball was sold out at Trump National Jupiter Golf Club on April 24, the Herald reported. Tickets ranged from $200 to $10,000, with lieutenants paying $2,500 apiece for a four-seat table.
The Herald reports that the three-day event, took place at two locations, but the alleged incident, according to the South Florida PBA, did not take place on the Trump property.
"As law enforcement officers we are held to a higher standard in society, on and off duty," said MDPD Director Alfredo Ramirez III in a statement. "Immediately after being notified of an incident that occurred off duty on April 25, 2021, in the City of Palm Beach Gardens, I ordered for John Jenkins Jr. to be relieved of his official duties as a Miami-Dade Police Department lieutenant. Now learning of his arrest, it has brought a sense of disappointment that is immeasurable. This is a serious matter and I am confident that the City of Palm Beach Gardens Police Department will continue to carry out a thorough investigation."
Jenkins began working at the MDPD in 1996 before moving to union leadership, the Herald reported.
"The South Florida PBA is appalled and deeply saddened by the charges against Lt. Jenkins, who had previously resigned from his position with the PBA," South Florida PBA President Steadman Stahl said in a statement. "We take these charges very seriously and are cooperating with this investigation fully. Because this remains an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further and ask that any additional media inquiries be directed to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department."
Jenkins could not be reached for comment. His bond was set for $10,000 and he was ordered to have no contact with the victim.