FHP trooper accused of sexual battery
(SUN SENTINAL) PALM SPRINGS – A former Florida Highway Patrol trooper arrested on allegations that he followed a woman to her home, made her strip naked and then coerced her to have sex with him to avoid a traffic citation or a trip to jail — was ordered held on $105,000 bond today.
Ariel D. Valentin, 31, was taken into custody at about 2 p.m. Friday after an investigation into the alleged May 13 assault. He resigned from the FHP on Wednesday after five years in Troop L, which covers six counties, including Palm Beach and Broward.
According to police, the woman said Valentin pulled her over after she was involved in a minor car accident near her home in Palm Springs. After he told the other driver to leave the scene, the woman said she told Valentin that both drivers were fine and she wanted to leave, pointing to her home nearby.
She said Valentin asked her whether she minded that he search her and she agreed, getting out of her car and turning her pockets inside-out, according to police. He said he needed to search her further and suggested going into her home, according to the
The woman told police she was “bawling her eyes out” because her registration was expired and she did not want to get in trouble. She said Valentin told her “stop crying and don’t worry, you are not going to get in trouble. Just do what I say.”
Once they were inside her house, the woman said Valentin told her to remove her clothes and then coerced her into having sex, according to police.
She also told police that she felt like an idiot, but was “scared of going to jail” and at one point in the encounter asked Valentin what was going on.
The woman retrieved a used condom from her toilet after Valentin left. She went to the hospital the following day, where she contacted police and a doctor performed a rape examination.
When first interviewed about the incident, Valentin told Palm Springs police that he simply followed the woman to her nearby home and issued her a citation. He said he did not enter the house.
When police informed him that they recovered a used condom, Valentin still denied having sex with the woman, but later said the two had consensual sex.
In a later interview with Palm Springs police, Valentin admitted to telling the woman he had to search her within her house. After taking off her clothes, Valentin told police he asked the woman for a condom.
He is charged with sexual battery and bribery and was being held at the Palm Beach County Jail.
Valentin has had a one-day suspension and two written reprimands with the FHP. In May 2007, an investigation revealed that Valentin violated FHP policies when, during a traffic stop, he asked a woman if he could go into her house and measure her in a bathing suit.