May 3, 2007 — Investigators from both the Justice and Police departments are still looking into circumstances surrounding the recent arrests of two St. Croix officers, who have, as of Thursday morning, both been advised of their rights in V.I. Superior Court for unrelated offenses, including rape and third-degree assault.
When contacted Thursday evening, Police spokeswoman Shawna Richards said that while the officers' cases are unrelated, both have been placed on administrative leave without pay, pending the outcome of the investigations.
Richards added that the officers — 25-year-old Cassandra Jhero and 36-year-old Jose Rodriguez — had initially been released on their own recognizance pending the outcome of a VIPD Internal Affairs investigation or attending the advice of rights hearings, which were held on St. Croix on both Wednesday and Thursday morning.
After being advised of his rights on Thursday, however, Rodriguez was remanded into Police custody on charges of kidnapping for rape, first-degree rape, child abuse, unlawful sexual contact, and interfering with an officer discharging his duty.
Late last month, Rodriguez was initially placed on administrative leave with pay after Police received reports that he had sexually assaulted a female minor (See "Brief: VIPD Officer Under Investigation for Sexual Assault of a Female Minor").
According to Richards, Rodriguez is a 10-year veteran of the V.I. Police Department.
Jhero, brought up for third-degree assault and other related charges, has not been remanded, however, Richards added. She explained that Jhero, in early March, allegedly pointed a gun at her boyfriend in the presence of a minor.
Jhero's charges also include possession of a dangerous weapon in the commission of a crime of violence, child abuse and brandishing a weapon.
According to Richards, Jhero is a graduate of the 2006 Police class.
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