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Victim texted boss for help after alleged rape by Miami-Dade police lieutenant

Incident occurs at PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens
John Jenkins, former lieutenant with Miami-Dade police department.
Posted at 3:45 PM, May 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-10 19:06:41-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — A Miami-Dade police lieutenant posted bail and was released from custody this weekend following his arrest Friday on sexual assault charges in Palm Beach Gardens.

The alleged incident occurred at PGA National Resort & Spa on April 25.

According to court records, John Anthony Jenkins, 50, was in Palm Beach County attending the Palm Beach County Police Benevolent Association Gala in Jupiter that evening.

The victim said she was downstairs at a bar area with other people who attended the gala but later decided to go to her room and sleep, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.

She said as she went to the elevator, Jenkins approached her and said he was also leaving and would walk with her.

The victim told investigators when she opened her hotel door, Jenkins immediately followed her inside and pushed her against the wall.

The police lieutenant is then accused of forcibly kissing her and saying he had a crush on her for some time. She said he then unzipped his pants, exposed himself and pushed her onto the bed.

The victim said she told him to stop and even said, "You're married, your wife and kids are in the hotel."

The affidavit goes on to say that Jenkins removed her clothes and sexually abused her against her will.

During the attack, the victim said she was able to covertly use her phone to text her boss, who was also staying at the hotel, for help.

She told police she was able to escape to the bathroom and texted her boss again for help. This prompted her boss to call her phone and later knock on her hotel door.

The victim then took the opportunity to go to the door and flee with her boss. She later told him that Jenkins "raped me."

Supervisors of the PBA were then informed of the alleged attack, prompting them to call the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department.

Police reviewed video surveillance cameras at the hotel, which showed Jenkins "seemed to push his way into the room out of camera view."

After the incident, police said cameras showed Jenkins leave the victim's room and going to the second floor where his hotel room was located.

A sexual assault examination was performed on the victim that day, which later matched DNA obtained from Jenkins on April 30.

The Miami-Dade police lieutenant was booked Friday night at the Palm Beach County Jail and charged with sexual battery and attempted sexual battery.

A judge set his bond at $10,000 for each of the two charges. Records show Jenkins posted bail jail Saturday.

Criminal defense attorney Greg Morse, who's not involved in the case, told Contact 5 the bail amount seems low.

"I've had similar cases in the past, and in those, even in one count cases, the bond is generally around $50,000," Morse said.

Contact 5 shared the arrest affidavit with Julie Weil, who assists victims and survivors of sexual assault.

"It was so incredibly violent and so incredibly invasive," Weil told Contact 5. She called the allegations "one of the more disgusting assaults I read about."

"It's so commendable that she was able to keep her head about her and that she was able to do the things she was able to do to get help," Weil said.

Jenkins' attorney Heidi Perlet released the following statement regarding the allegations:

"Anything that may have occurred between Lt. Jenkins and the alleged victim was nothing short of consensual. As a married man, Lt. Jenkins exercised poor judgment. As a married woman, so did the alleged victim. They may both be morally wrong, but this does not equal rape. Lt. Jenkins strenuously denies these allegations and is looking forward to clearing his good name."

The Miami-Dade Police Department said Jenkins is currently suspended with pay. His next court date is currently scheduled for June 7.

Jenkins resigned from his leadership position at the South Florida Police Benevolent Association last week.

The South Florida Police Benevolent Association issued this statement in response to the charges against Jenkins:

"The South Florida PBA is appalled and deeply saddened by the charges against Lt. Jenkins, who had previously resigned from his position with the PBA. We take these charges very seriously and are cooperating with this investigation fully. Because this remains an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further and ask that any additional media inquiries be directed to the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department."