Former Hialeah police officer Rafael Otaño was sentenced to 66 months in state prison for armed kidnapping, a crime he was found guilty of last August.
Otaño, 28, is accused of detaining and beating homeless Cuban José Ortega Gutiérrez on December 17 and of concealing facts, while working as a police officer.
He was tried in August in Miami-Dade Criminal Court and acquitted of assault charges, but the court found him guilty of armed kidnapping, in which He could have received a life sentence.
This Wednesday, his lawyers tried to convince the judge to give him a heavier sentence, but he refused because he said he did not believe that Otaño had any remorse, but only regretted that he was caught.
As reported Local 10The judge called his actions “an extremely serious betrayal of the public trust,” and sentenced him to five years of probation in addition to 66 months behind bars.
Their representatives have already stated that they will appeal the verdict.
Otaño, who was fired last January by Mayor Esteban Bovowas free on bail until August, but when he was found guilty of kidnapping he was arrested again.
On the day of the events he was with fellow ex-officer Lorenzo Orfila, who has not yet been tried.
According to the indictment, agents went to a bakery after its owners called the police because homeless Cuban José Ortega Gutiérrez was causing a disturbance, and they arrested him.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, they handcuffed Ortega and took him in a patrol car to a remote area on Northwest 97th Avenue, where they beat him until he lost consciousness.
“They said: ‘Let’s go.’ And the turn was that they took me there to beat me. “They left me lying there as if I was dead, and they left,” said the Cuban. to test.
At the hearing, the homeless man Ortega admitted to drinking alcohol that day, but denied that his alcohol consumption affected his ability to observe and remember events.
After the beating, he was found lying in a pool of blood by another officer who was walking his dog and gave him first aid.
In the trial, the prosecutor could not prove that the Cuban was beaten by the police, because there were no witnesses or evidence linking them to the attack. That’s why only the jury can declare Otaño guilty of armed kidnapping.
Michael Pizzi, Otaño’s lawyer, described the jury’s verdict as “appalling”; He maintained that his client was innocent of all charges and was not present at the scene when the arrest took place.
“It is totally absurd, if, as the jury determined, Mr. Otaño never hit him, he is not guilty of assault, he is not guilty of touching this person, he cannot be guilty of kidnapping,” he said.
The other accused, Lorenzo Orfila, was charged with kidnapping, assault and attempted official misconduct.