Man accused of sexually battering woman while impersonating police officer

TAMPA, Fla. — A Florida man is accused of sexually battering a woman at a Tampa hotel earlier this year while allegedly impersonating a police officer, authorities said.

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Sonny Albert Gonzalez Jr., 42, of Tampa, was arrested Tuesday and charged with sexual battery while armed with a deadly weapon, false personation, armed false imprisonment, exposure of sexual organs and unlawful use of a two-way communication device, according to Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

The incident in May was linked to a similar event at a hotel in February, Tampa police Chief Lee Bercaw said during a news conference.

An investigation began after a woman told detectives that she was sexually assaulted at the Hotel Inn in Tampa on May 20, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The victim said she met Gonzalez at the hotel that day, and that he allegedly grabbed her by the arm and pulled her into a stairway, according to the newspaper.

Gonzalez then pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun and what appeared to be a law enforcement badge, the Times reported.

The victim told police that Gonzalez began to question her and allegedly asked if she was trafficking guns or drugs, according to the newspaper. He then allegedly sexually battered the woman and told her to leave, warning her not to talk about what happened.

Bercaw told reporters that the victim contacted authorities in July.

Police arrested Gonzalez at the Courtyard Marriott hotel near downtown Tampa, WFLA-TV reported. Officers said they recovered a novelty police badge in Gonzalez’s vehicle, according to the television station.

“It’s concerning to us that somebody is going around and presenting themself as a police officer,” Bercaw told reporters. “It’s also very concerning what this individual did, and the last thing we want is for him to get out and be back out on the streets.”

Gonzalez was being held at the Hillsborough County jail on Wednesday, online records show. Bail was set at $267,000.





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