DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - A former deputy for Dinwiddie County is in jail after he was arrested and charged with sex crimes against a child.
Hector Jimenez, 46, faces two felony charges for his alleged involvement with a 13-year-old. The prosecutor in this case says it should serve as a shining example - there shouldn't be any preferential treatment when it comes to the law.
Authorities say the crimes happened at the former deputy's North Dinwiddie home, by the pool, where the suspect solicited a 13-year-old whom he was familiar with.
"It occurred through force, threat or intimidation," said Commonwealth's Attorney Ann Cabell Baskervill.
She says Jimenez used his badge as that source of intimidation.
"Which is the worst kind of betrayal of public trust that I could imagine," she said.
The alleged crime happened back in 2015.
"It's quite often there's a delay in reporting. Sometimes, it is an authority figure. Children, in general, don't feel like it's okay or safe for them to disclose that something is happening," said Kandy Freeman, crisis intervention expert with Madeline's House.
It's why she wants any victim of sexual crimes, even children, to know there's help.
"I urge teens to be able to find someone that they're comfortable with, whether it's someone at school, whether it's a principal, church member or a neighbor or family member, if they're not wanting to disclose this to their parent…There is healing at the end of all of this," Freeman said.
Jimenez is now preparing to fight the serious allegations in court.
"No matter who the perpetrator is - law enforcement, lawmaker, law decider - everyone is equal in the eyes of the law," Baskerville added.
"Law enforcement executives should expect their officers to comply with the law of the land, and it is customary and right for officers who are charged with a serious crime to be removed from employment," said Dana Schrad of the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police.
There's a local crisis hotline anyone can call if they're a victim of a sex crime. The number is 1-888-819-2926.
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