Cape Coral police arrested one of their own Wednesday and charged the officer with having sex with an underage girl.
Detectives arrested Casey M. Ortiz, 34, on a warrant charging two counts of unlawful sexual activity with a minor, CCPD officials said in a prepared statement.
This investigation began on Feb. 2, when the parents of a then 16-year-old girl contacted the Cape Coral Police Department to file a report alleging that that their daughter had engaged in sexual activity with an officer.
"This was immediately assigned to a detective to thoroughly investigate," officials said.
As with other cases of this nature, the Cape Coral Police Department worked closely with the Child Protection Team as well as the State Attorney's Office. The girl was interviewed at CPT on Feb. 4 and, based on the information gathered during the interview, Ortiz was identified as the officer involved, according to the stagtement.
Ortiz was then relieved of duty.
On Feb. 11, detectives executed a search warrant at Ortiz's home. Ortiz, who was at the Cape Coral Police Department at that time, was also served with a "body warrant" at the station. Warrants also were obtained for Ortiz's cellphone to corroborate details provided by the girl.
Detectives completed their investigation on March 20 and submitted a warrant request to the SAO.
That warrant was approved by Judge Maria Gonzalez on April 30.
Ortiz was contacted by detectives and he came to the Cape Coral Police Department where he turned himself in to detectives at 11 a.m., officials said.
He was transported to Lee County Jail where he was in custody early Wednesday evening. According to the Lee County Jail Website, bond had not been set.
Ortiz has been a police officer with the Cape Coral Police Department since Jan. 9, 2006.
Once the criminal case is concluded, the Cape Coral Police Department will conduct its own Internal Affairs investigation, per policy and state statute, the release states.
"As we report today that one of our own was arrested for breaking the law by victimizing a member of our community, I stress that these types of cases are rare and should not reflect negatively on the men and women who protect and serve our citizens on a daily basis," Bart Connelly, chief of police, said in the statement. "This investigation was initiated by the Cape Coral Police Department, and immediate action was taken to ensure Mr. Ortiz was removed from duty. The incident has been thoroughly and properly investigated, and Mr. Ortiz was placed under arrest. We will continue to work with the State Attorney's Office, the victim, and the victim's family to ensure justice is served and closure for all."
Source: Cape Coral Police Department