Brian Hamacher

No Charges for Former Miami Beach Commission Candidate Accused of Exposing Himself

A former Miami Beach Commission candidate who was accused of exposing himself to a sitting commissioner officially had his name cleared by the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Thursday.

The case against Rafael Velasquez involved allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior last October, as well as a phone conversation that was secretly taped by investigators.

Last fall, while running for Miami Beach City Commission, sitting commissioner Kristen Rosen-Gonzalez accused Velasquez of exposing himself, and urging her to touch him while the two were sitting in a car.

But on Thursday, Velasquez learned he was cleared of wrongdoing by the state attorney's office.

"More importantly, at this stage of my life, is that this nightmare has come to an end, that I can actually walk down the street with my head up high," Velasquez said.

As part of the investigation, police secretly recorded a conversation between then candidate Velasquez and political consultant Pedro Diaz, with Velasquez urging Diaz to tell police he was set up.

In the memo closing out the investigation, a prosecutor wrote: "There was no physical evidence to prove the offense occurred; there were no other witnesses who could testify that the incident occurred; and the subject did not admit to the alleged misconduct."

In her statement to the Miami Herald, Commissioner Rosen-Gonzalez wrote in part, "When his repeated inappropriate behavior towards other women was also exposed and his commission opponent was elected, I thought the public trust was protected and advised the state attorney that I did not wish to press charges...Justice has been done."

Velasquez said he hasn't ruled out a future run for office and said he was happy this chapter is behind him.

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