Oh, Florida. You truly are the weirdest state in the Union.
Two Lauderhill, Fla. police officers have been arrested and charged with unlawful compensation and battery charges after allegedly groping and sexually assaulting two female DUI suspects according to the Huffington Post.
One of the officers, Thomas Merenda, turned himself in after the charges were issued and admitted his guilt. He even apparently told one of the female suspects to punch him in the “nuts” and reassured her that this was ”ok” because it “turned him on.”
The other officer, Franklin Hartley has also turned himself on and admitted to similar charges.
According to a report the two officers pulled over two allegedly intoxicated women at about 4 a.m. in Lauderhill way back in May 2012 (although the charges have only been bought against the two men in the last week). According to one of the women, officer Hartley told them he suspected they were intoxicated and ordered them to follow his squad car behind a strip mall, where Merenda was waiting.
According to the Miami Herald the two officers then order the women to step out of their car. Hartley then began to “kiss and touch” the passenger’s breasts. When she protested, Hartley allegedly told her she was “under arrest” and was thus pretty much free to do with her what he wanted. Hartley then allegedly ‘ordered’ the woman to have sex with him, which she did.
Meanwhile, Merenda began to grope the driver (under the guise of a ‘pat down’) then asked her to ‘kick or punch him in the nuts’. Hartley apparently informed the driver (while having sex with her passenger friend) that Merenda “really enjoys this”. The woman then kicked Merenda.
Eric Schwartzreich, Merenda’s laywer, told CBS Miami that his client – while in the wrong – should not be facing charges of unlawful compensation.
“Unlawful compensation is defined as a benefit or an advantage,” he told the station. “As a member of the male population, I can say that never in a million years is it a reward to get hit in the family jewels.”
If that’s not a funny legal defence then I don’t know what is.
Both Merenda and Hartley posted bail and are currently on enforced paid leave.
While this story is kind of funny, it’s also kind of scary. Seriously, what is going on down in Florida?