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Fort Myers Police captain arrested for prostitution, perjury

Posted at 12:08 PM, Sep 10, 2019

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested Fort Myers Police Department Captain Jay Rodriguez after an investigation into accusations that he had engaged in a sex act while on duty during a massage parlor investigation.

Rodriguez is charged with prostitution, official misconduct and perjury.

According to FDLE, their investigation showed that Rodriguez solicited and engaged in prostitution with a female massage therapist while on duty and acting in an undercover capacity during a massage parlor operation in Fort Myers on March 14, 2013.

They also say Rodriguez authored a falsified account of his actions during the operation, which was relied upon by the arresting officer to affect the arrests of two women at the massage parlor.

FDLE began investigating Rodriguez in February 2019 , at the request of Fort Myers Police Chief Derrick Diggs, after leaked video reportedly showed Captain Rodriguez undercover at a massage parlor engaging in a sex act.

Chief Diggs says his department cooperated fully with the investigation.

Rodriguez is on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the case as it proceeds through the judicial system.

"Although the incident occurred 3 years prior to my arrival, I take any allegations of misconduct by our officers seriously," writes Chief Diggs. "His actions should in no way reflect on the character and integrity of this organization or the men and women who tirelessly work every day to protect the good people of Ft Myers."

Rodriguez has already been released from jail on $4,000 bond. He was booked at 11:07 a.m and released at 12:22 p.m.

Fox 4 spoke with former Oak Hill Police Chief, Walt Zalisko, who says Rodriguez's actions are inexcusable.

"Police officers have to uphold the law. They're not immune from it, they can't violate any laws to pursue a case against a criminal," said Zalisko.

It's a sentiment that Fort Myers City Councilman Kevin Anderson shares.

"It's very disappointing and sad anytime an allegation of wrongdoing is placed against an officer," said Anderson.

That being said, Anderson also wants to remind the public that while Rodriguez has been charged, he hasn't yet been found guilty by a court of law.

"Captain Rodriguez is entitled to due process just like any citizen," said Anderson.

But if Rodriguez is found guilty, both Anderson and Zalisko both agree that it will be hard for him to continue working as a Fort Myers police officer.

"I believe if he is found guilty of this, then he's lost the confidence and trust of the community, the agency and the city. And it should be time to move on," said Anderson.

"Even if he does keep his job, there's gonna be that integrity issue," said Zalisko.