HARTFORD, Ct. – A Hartford, Connecticut police officer has been reassigned to the booking division while an investigation is underway to determine the circumstances of a relationship between the officer and an underage girl.
Officer Joven Gonzalez, 26, arrested a teenage girl for larceny in April of this year, according to the Hartford Courant’s Zach Murdock. However, the interactions between the married officer and the girl did not end there. A Bloomfield police report indicates that an “intimate and sexual relationship” developed between the officer and the girl.
Hartford police officer under internal investigation after on-duty incident involving juvenile ex-girlfriend https://t.co/HuDuJN3iJK
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Gonzalez alleges that he did not know the girl’s minor status and claims that she lied to him about her age. It is unclear what information the officer was provided with during the original arrest and booking of the teen. The officer claims that he later attempted to help the girl find a job and that’s when he discovered she was a minor. Gonzalez states that he ended the relationship upon learning her age and things took a turn. He claims that the girl threatened to go to his home and even to murder his wife, Murdock reports.
Police have spoken with witnesses and reviewed camera footage of a church parking lot where the officer and the girl had an altercation in late July. Surveillance footage shows that the officer drove his cruiser to the parking lot while on duty. There, he met the minor who was driving the officer’s personal vehicle. The teen had been given a key to the officer’s car, which she was allowed to take from the Hartford Police Department parking lot and drive to the church at approximately 2:00 in the morning.
According to a Bloomfield police report, a witness claims to have seen Gonzalez holding the girl’s hands in the parking lot as she pleaded “Let go of me” and “Get off of me.” The teen further reported to police that Gonzalez punched her two times and attempted to prevent her from accessing her cell phone. She claims she sustained no serious injuries. However, Officer Gonzalez has claimed that the girl was the aggressor and had taken his phone, spraying him with mace when he tried to take it back.
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Surveillance footage did not capture the altercation, only that the vehicles were present at the time. However, investigators also reviewed a series of text messages that the girl sent to a friend the night of the incident. The content or nature of the messages have not been released. Bloomfield Police have closed the investigation into the altercation without making any arrests, Murdock reports.
The altercation occurred only a few weeks after a judge ordered that a former Connecticut officer stay away from a different local teen. Connecticut Superior Court Judge Tracy Lee Dayton reprimanded former officer Michael Gonzalez (no known relation) saying, “Listen closely: You are to have no contact at all with the victim, do you understand that?”
The former Trumbull officer had used police computers to obtain the car registration information for a Connecticut teen and later sexually assaulted her in her home, the CT Post’s Daniel Tepfer reports.
The teen reported to her mother that in 2017, Gonzalez, who had been her supervisor in the police department’s cadet program, surprised her as she was sunbathing in the back yard of her family home. The officer asked to use the restroom and she escorted him inside. There she claims that Gonzalez went into her bedroom and handled her undergarments then assaulted her. She stated that he put her in a choke hold and she was not able to fight him off. Video surveillance has shown that Gonzalez’s patrol car was parked at the residence at the time of the assault.
However, Gonzalez was not charged with sexual assault as the incident was not reported for 20 days past the statute of limitations. He was, however, charged with third-degree computer crime which is a felony offense.