July 27, 2012- An officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection has admitted he sexually assaulted three women who were in his custody. On Tuesday, Paulo Morales was in federal court where he pleaded guilty to civil rights offenses the Justice Department announced. He had been charged with sexually groping the three women.
Morales was an officer in Miami with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He said that in January of 2011, he groped three women in the breasts. The women had been in his custody and he said he groped them without their consent.
The Justice Department said that Morales misused his power to take advantage of the women and sexually assault them. They said the women’s civil rights had been violated. Officials said that wearing a badge as a law enforcement agent is a privilege and they will not tolerate the badge being misused for unlawful force or to assert power.
Morales will be sentenced for the charges on October 26 and could spend as many as three years behind bars and receive a $300,000 fine.
A U.S Attorney said following the hearing that the Department of Justice was committed to protecting the citizens’ civil rights from all abuses.
It was unknown who was representing Morales in federal court.