A former US Customs and Border agent admitted in court Tuesday that he sexually assaulted three women in his custody at Miami International Airport.
The US Department of Justice said in a release that Paulo Morales, 47, pleaded guilty to three civil rights offenses for groping the breasts of the women in January 2011.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Office of Professional Responsibility special agent David D'Amato said in a statement to NBC Miami that holding a law enforcement badge is a privilege. "We will not tolerate its misuse as a key to assert power or unlawful force over those in one’s custody," he said.
"This former Customs and Border Protection Officer misused his office and his power to sexually assault three women in his custody at Miami International Airport, in violation of their civil rights. My office and the Department of Justice are fully committed to protecting the civil rights of our citizens from all types of abuses,” US Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer said in a statement.
Morales faces a six-count indictment charging him with three felony counts of abusive sexual contact and three misdemeanor counts of deprivation of civil rights, reports the Miami Herald.
Morales is set to be sentenced on Oct. 26 and if convicted could face up to three years in jail and a $300,000 fine.