MIAMI—After a long night at the hotel bar during a Florida Police Benevolent Association gala in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, last week, a 46-year-old employee of the union called it a night.
That is when she said Miami-Dade Police Department Lieutenant John Anthony Jenkins, 50, followed her to her room and raped her, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast. Jenkins, who was arrested on Friday and booked on one count of sexual battery and one count of attempted sexual battery, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
His lawyer has denied the allegations, and Jenkins was released on $20,000 bond—and remains on the police payroll, according to a police spokesperson.
The unnamed woman said she left the hotel bar sometime after midnight and was followed by Jenkins, 50, who attempted to walk the woman to her room, as he had done previous nights.
Video surveillance footage cited by the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department shows the pair taking the elevator to the third floor, where the woman was staying, according to the affidavit. When she opened the door, it allegedly shows Jenkins pushing himself into the room.
Once inside, the woman told Palm Beach Gardens Police, Jenkins pushed her to the wall and began to kiss her. She said he’d admitted he’d always had a crush on her. Then she said he unzipped his pants and attempted to force her head toward his penis.
When the woman resisted, she said, Jenkins pushed her on the bed, laid on top of her and pulled her underwear off under her dress as she repeatedly told him, “no, don’t do that” and “please stop.”
She said Jenkins said he wanted to “taste” the woman, according to the affidavit, and asserted that the woman, who is white, had “never had a Black man before.” The woman said she kept telling Jenkins to stop and reminded him that he was married. “You’re married, your wife and kids are in the hotel,” she recalled saying.
According to the woman, Jenkins performed oral sex on her while holding her down.
Around this time, according to the affidavit, the victim covertly texted her friend and boss Matthew Puckett, the executive director of the Florida PBA. “Help me right noe (sic)” she wrote, followed by “please.”
The text messages were corroborated on her phone and Puckett’s by Palm Beach Gardens Police, according to the affidavit.
The woman said she told Jenkins she needed to use the bathroom and took her phone, according to the affidavit. She said she texted Puckett for help again and that Puckett called her. She said she picked up and left the line open as Jenkins came into the bathroom and asked what she was doing.
Shortly after, Puckett began to knock on the door.
The woman recalled Jenkins frantically saying, “Matt Puckett is at the door.” She said the cop asked her to lie and say that she was at the bar. When Jenkins walked to the other side of the room, the woman said she took her chance to run outside.
When interviewed by police, Puckett said he was asleep when the messages came through. He thought the woman, who he’d seen at the bar when he left around midnight, might still be downstairs, but that when he went to check, she wasn’t. He said he called her on the phone and heard her saying “don’t do this you’re married” and thought he heard her use the name “John.”
When he got to the room, Puckett—who said he’s known Jenkins for 18 years—thought he heard Jenkins’ voice through the door.
Puckett told police that when the door opened, he grabbed the woman and pulled her from the room. He said she had an “oh, fuck” look on her face and later told him that Jenkins had raped her.
After DNA evidence was collected on April 25, a match for Jenkins was returned this past Friday, according to the affidavit.
Jenkins was booked into jail in Palm Beach County that night around 10 p.m. according to records from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. He was released on bond by 2 p.m the next day.
In a statement provided to the Miami Herald, Jenkins’ attorney, Heidi Perlet, said the incident involved “two consenting adults who have known each other for many years. Anything that may have occurred was consensual.”
“A married man who is invited by a married woman to her hotel room after a day of partying and drinking at a PBA event, may be poor judgment, but is certainly not rape,” Perlet told the paper.
The Florida PBA did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Jenkins has resigned as the executive vice president of Miami-Dade’s Police Benevolent Association, according to the Herald. He began his career with the police department in 1996, and worked in the public information office before becoming a union leader, the paper reported.
On Saturday, Miami-Dade Police Department Director Alfredo “Freddy” Ramirez III released a statement after Jenkins’ arrest, noting that law enforcement officers are “held to a higher standard in society, on and off duty.”
He said that after learning of the alleged rape, he ordered for Jenkins to be relieved of duties as a lieutenant. He said Jenkins’ arrest “brought a sense of disappointment that is immeasurable.”
Still, on Monday, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade Police Department said Jenkins has been transferred to the property and evidence section and was on leave—with pay.