free hit counter code Judd: Bartow officer gave teenage girls THC and alcohol, filmed them nude –

Judd: Bartow officer gave teenage girls THC and alcohol, filmed them nude

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Bartow Police Department officer is under investigation after Polk County deputies said he gave intoxicating substances to minors and had inappropriate contact with them.

The investigation began when Bartow officers suspected their coworker, Markanthony Fernandez, 24, of inappropriate conduct with teenagers.

Fernandez was accused of giving alcohol and THC gummies to a friend group he met on social media. The group included two 18-year-olds, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old. He was also accused of filming the girls, who were “in different stages of undress,” several times.

In one video, PCSO said a 17-year-old was performing a sex act on an 18-year-old wearing a Bartow Police Department jacket, at the direction of Fernandez. Judd said that clip was shared with some of his coworkers using Snapchat.

Markanthony Fernandez, 24. (Polk County Sheriff’s Office)

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said Fernandez touched and strangled the 16-year-old in a bedroom at his Lake Wales home. The girl reported feeling afraid and another reported losing consciousness when she was choked, Sheriff Grady Judd said in a news conference Wednesday. 

The officer told the teenagers “he gets excited sexually from choking people,” Judd said.

Fernandez has been on paid administrative leave since February. Judd said he refused to resign from his position and his termination is pending the outcome of a Bartow Police Department investigation.

Judd described Fernandez’s actions as “stupid, crazy and out of control.”

He was charged with promotion of a juvenile in a sexual performance, use of a juvenile in a sexual performance, battery by strangulation, illegal use of a two-way communication device, contributing to the delinquency of a minor (two counts), and providing alcoholic beverages to a person under 21-years of age (four counts).

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