CAPE CORAL, Fla. - A Cape coral police officer is on the wrong side of the law, busted for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl. 34-year-old Casey Ortiz turned himself in Wednesday.
Investigators say the alleged sexual activity happened during two of three unauthorized ride-alongs in a police car between September and November of 2013. "There is nothing to indicate there was any force involved," Det. Sgt. Dana Coston said.
The two met when Ortiz was responded to a 911 call at the girl's home. It wasn't until February when the girl's parents alerted police, sparking an investigation. Oritz was relieved from duty while detectives searched his home and cell phone records.
Ortiz has been with Cape Coral Police since January of 2006. Look at his personnel file, and you'll see words like "professional," "outstanding," and "diligent," not to mention nominations for awards and promotions.
Friends and neighbors find the accusations hard to believe. "I wouldn't take him for that guy even if I saw him right now," Mario Ortiz said. "If he knew, that's one thing. If he didn't... 16-year-olds nowadays can look like they are 23. What he did doesn't take away the fact that he was a good neighbor to me and a good friend when I needed him."
WINK News did some digging and uncovered that Ortiz was in the spotlight back in 2010 for a pay raise scandal. He got a raise even though he didn't meet the requirements to get that money. He was forced to pay back more than $19,000.
Once the criminal investigation by the State Attorney's Office is concluded, the Cape Coral Police Department will conduct its own Internal Affairs investigation, per policy and state statute.
"As we report today that one of our own was arrested for breaking the law by victimizing a member of our community, I stress that these types of cases are rare and should not reflect negatively on the men and women who protect and serve our citizens on a daily basis," Chief Bart Connelly said.
"This investigation was initiated by the Cape Coral Police Department, and immediate action was taken to ensure Mr. Ortiz was removed from duty. The incident has been thoroughly and properly investigated, and Mr. Ortiz was placed under arrest. We will continue to work with the State Attorney's Office, the victim, and the victim's family to ensure justice is served and closure for all."