Thursday, September 26, 2013

Officer Julio Pagan Arrested for Sexual Battery

Another sex scandal at the Lakeland Police Department, and this time, the officer involved faces criminal charges.

Officer Julio Pagan, 31, was arrested today on two counts of sexual battery and one count of stalking.

"There are simply no words to describe my shock, my outrage, my disgust about this," said Chief Lisa Womack.

Chief Womack says the investigation dates back to a time right in the middle of the department's highly publicized sex scandal.

Investigators say Officer Pagan responded to a July 4th call near a trailer park and that's where he first met the alleged victim.

Six weeks later, during another call, the woman says Pagan coerced her to have sex with him in her bathroom while he was still armed, in uniform, and on duty.

Asked if this will only promote talk of persistent culture problems now under her command as well at Lakeland P.D., Chief Womack was clearly frustrated.

"This is not a departmental issue," she said pausing for moment, "You want to know how I feel about it? Fed up," she said.

The alleged victim says three weeks later, Pagan, again on-duty, was back, asking her for a "quickie" according to the police report.

Surveillance video shows Pagan's cruiser pulling up to a nearby Circle K store, where images, say detectives, show the woman buys alcohol before both return to her house.

Investigators say Pagan then came back a second time on that same date,August 29th, but that the woman made an excuse to fend off his advances and called police to complain about Pagan's visits.

However the dispatcher, identified as Christinia Jordan, now on administrative leave, never sent an officer.

"I have no valid explanation as to at this point why that that did not occur," said Chief Womack. An investigation into the matter was "about 90%" complete, she said.

The victim, who never had a police officer respond, got another uninvited visit from Pagan about three weeks later.

Relatives called to complain yet again, and this time Lakeland sent an investigator.

Austin Garcia, a neighbor, says a short time later, the trailer park area was visited by multiple officers.

"I did see a couple of squad cars go over there and stuff, like about 5 or 6 of them," he said, "They stayed there about an hour or two and left."

Chief Womack says she knows the public is already commenting about how this may yet again be an example of the "culture" within Lakeland P.D., but she took issue with that assertion.

This was not a departmental culture issue, she said -it's a crime.

Pagan, she said,will likely be formally fire dover the next couple of days.

He faces life in prison if convicted.