MDPD lieutenant arrested in Palm Beach Gardens, charged with sexual battery

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A Miami-Dade Police lieutenant has bonded out of jail one day after he was arrested in Palm Beach County on a sexual battery charge.

According to Palm Beach Gardens Police, MDPD Lt. John Jenkins turned himself in at around 8 p.m. on Friday.

Jenkins’ arrest stems from an alleged incident that took place while he was in Palm Beach Gardens for a police union gala, April 25.

In a statement issued Saturday, Jenkins’ attorney, Heidi Perlet, said the encounter was consensual.

The statement reads in part, “Lt. Jenkins is looking forward to having his day in court to clear his name and excellent reputation. He has been committed to serving his community and has been a man of the law for 25 years. This situation involves two consenting adults who have known each other for many years. Anything that may have occurred was absolutely consensual.”

Jenkins has resigned from his position as vice president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association.

Following the arrest, MDPD Director Alfredo Ramirez III released a statement that reads in part, “Immediately after being notified of an incident that occurred off duty on April 25th, 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.”

In a statement, South Florida PBA President Steadman Stahl said, “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.”

Jenkins was released on bond Saturday afternoon.

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