‘He will never change.’ Ex-Miami-Dade cop gets life in prison for molesting young girls

A former Miami-Dade police lieutenant faces life in prison for repeatedly molesting two young girls.
A judge on Friday sentenced Braulio Gonzalez, 48, to life in prison for the crimes that shattered the lives of the two victims, who are now in their 20s.
"There will be no closure here," said Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Miguel de la O. "The fact that people continue to defend you is just classic cognitive dissonance."
Gonzalez was sentenced to three months after a jury deliberated just 15 minutes to convict him of armed kidnapping and lascivious molestation. Gonzalez, who plans to appeal his conviction, declined to address the court — or apologize to the victims during the hearing.
Miami-Dade police first arrested Gonzalez in September 2018 after a girl he knew told a psychologist that he fondled her several times when she was between 8 and 10 years old. She also told an interviewer from the Florida Department of Children & Families that when Gonzalez first petted her, he pointed a gun to her head and threatened to kill a relative.
The girl's sister also told investigators about her own molestation. Both testified in court and told the judge Friday Gonzalez destroyed their lives.
MIAMI, May 20, 2022 -- Braulio Gonzalez, convicted of raping family members, speaks with his attorney Bruce Lehr, center, after he was sentenced to life in prison.
One victim is now studying psychology in college and said she hopes to channel her trauma to help other victims.
"I didn't deserve to suffer like this," she told the judge. "I definitely don't deserve to suffer now. The abuse doesn't go away. You don't forget."
Her sister - who once tried to overdose on pills - said she is still in therapy. "It's something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life," she said.
Gonzalez, a former Hialeah police officer, joined the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1999. Prior to his arrest, he was assigned to the Special Response Team, which deals with hostage situations, warrants and dangerous fugitive searches.
According to internal police files, he was allowed to keep his job, although he was repeatedly accused of repeatedly hitting and abusing his former lovers. Miami-Dade Police have cleared him of those charges.
"He's hurt so many people for so long and he's always gotten away with it," the victims' mother said in court. "He will never change."
MIAMI, May 20, 2022 -- Braulio Gonzalez, convicted of raping family members, sits in the courtroom during sentencing.
Gonzalez's defense attorney, Bruce Lehr, called for his sentence to just 25 years in prison and portrayed him as a dedicated police officer who saved several lives during his time with the force.
Gonzalez's four-year-old wife testified on his behalf, as did two police officers: former Hialeah Police Officer Phillip Kennedy and Miami Beach Reserve Officer Reinaldo Casas.
"He was reliable and always tried to help as much as possible ... I can't say anything negative about him," said Casas (who once broke the news after being fired for testing positive for cocaine, and then got his job back after claiming he wasn't aware the drug was unknowingly included in a sex-aid cream).
However, prosecutors Natalie Snyder and Khalil Madani argued that the ex-cop lived a double life.
"He was very violent behind the scenes," Snyder said. "He is a very dangerous person."

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