A Miami-Dade police lieutenant and high-ranking union member was booked into a Palm Beach County jail late Friday on rape charges, records show.
Lt. John Jenkins , who last week resigned as as executive vice president of the South Florida Police Benevolent Association, is charged with two counts of sexual battery, according to Palm Beach Sheriff’s jail booking log.
Jenkins is also suspended with pay. The rape case stems from an alleged incident that took place two weeks ago while he was in Palm Beach Gardens for a police union gala.
“I’m shocked and extremely disturbed by the charges,” PBA President Steadman Stahl said on Saturday morning.
The website for the Palm Beach County PBA shows that the “Black-tie optional” 13th Annual PBA Officer’s Ball was sold out at Trump National Jupiter Golf Club on April 24. Tickets for the event ran from $200 to $10,000, with lieutenants shelling out $2,500 a piece for a four-seat table.
The three-day event, which included golf and dinners, took place at two locations. The alleged incident, according to the South Florida PBA, did not take place on the Trump property.
An arrest report chronicled what happened was not immediately available. But a defense attorney for Jenkins offered some details.
“Lt. Jenkins is looking forward to having his day in court to clear his name and reputation. For 25 years he has served his community and has been a man of the law,” attorney Heidi Perlet said in a statement. “This incident involves two consenting adults who have known each other for many years. Anything that may have occurred was consensual. A married man who is invited by a married woman to her hotel room after a day of partying and drinking at a PBA event, may be poor judgment, but is certainly not rape.”
Jenkins, 50, who began working with MDPD in 1996 and who worked in the department’s public information office before moving to union leadership, could not be reached for comment. He was recently named a new member of the Orange Bowl Committee.
“Now learning of his arrest, it has brought a sense of disappointment that is immeasurable,” Miami-Dade Police Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez said in a statement. “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.”