DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - A former Dinwiddie Sheriff's deputy is now a free man after he was accused of sex crimes against a 13-year-old. The state decided to set aside the charges against the former officer, as long as he never works in law enforcement ever again.
Now 46-year-old Hector Jimenez is speaking out, saying he just wants to clear his name. Even though he hasn't been proven innocent or guilty, he no longer faces jail time or a trial.
"I feel like I'm still getting the short end of the stick, being humiliated, that it did happen when it didn't happen," Jimenez told NBC12.
It's the first time the former Dinwiddie Sheriff's deputy has spoken out after being arrested for taking indecent liberties and aggravated sexual battery against a 13-year-old girl in 2015.
"Intimidation the victim felt, because her assailant was a law enforcement officer, and she felt that internally and felt that quite strongly and thus was quite afraid, and afraid of going against him," said Prosecutor Ann Cabell Baskervill.
She says she decided to set aside the charges in part because of the emotional trauma it could cause the alleged teenage victim, who agreed to testify had the case gone to trial. As part of the agreement though, Jimenez's law enforcement certification has to be revoked.
"He will not be in law enforcement again. Not in Virginia. Not anywhere and not in any circumstances…We're going to keep him away from badges and guns," Baskervill said.
"He's seen how the criminal justice system treats certain individuals, and I don't think he has a desire to be a part of that system any longer…He has a bevy of skills, as the prosecutor stated during her motion, a bevy of skills and talents he can use to be a productive member of society, and he plans on doing that going forward," Defense Attorney Amari Harris argued.
The state says the charges - although set aside for now - can be brought up again at any time.
"I'm innocent…That particular incident never happened," Jimenez said.
Baskervill applauds the alleged victim for stepping forward and says she agrees with her story 100 percent.
An area police group is concerned about the agreement.
"Under the law, decertification must be based on express guilty pleas or convictions, failure to pass a drug test, or failure to train. The decertification statute was never intended to be used as a bargaining tool to avoid prosecution," said Dana Schrad of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
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