Leonel Marines, 36, used the database at his Florida police station as a dating platform. By the time he was found out, he had gone on dates and had sex with almost 150 women in at least six years, according to an internal investigation.
On Thursday, Bradenton Police Chief Melanie Bevan said during a news conference that Marines, “betrayed the trust of this department and the citizens of Bradenton” and “cast a dark shadow on our law enforcement profession.”
“Leonel Marines was not utilizing this data for law enforcement purposes whatsoever,” she said. “Instead, he was using it in a variety of ways—via social media, cold telephone calls, visits to their homes under the guise of being there for police business, you name it, to try and get dates with these women. And he was very persistent, and successful at times, in his efforts to do so.”
Marines resigned in October after being placed on leave and is currently under FBI investigation.
The internal inquiry started in June 2018, when the ex-cop followed a woman in his police cruiser and knocked on her door. The home was her parents’, according to Bevan. Marines told the woman’s parents he had gotten a call about a domestic dispute and wanted to talk to the woman.
However, the parents knew no incident had occurred and wouldn’t let Marines see their daughter. Later, they called a police commander, and Marines said he visited the house because the woman had a headlight out on her car.
The department then investigated and discovered his database queries, most of which involved women who weren’t involved in any police cases.
Bevan shared that the police interviewed nearly 150 women, and that a portion of that group was interviewed again, revealing repeated inappropriate contact. She said that the database auditing practices have since been improved so that similar situations can be avoided in the future.