Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Police Fifth District Patrol Officer Maria Velez, 24, has been indefinitely suspended from the police department after police say she repeatedly had sex with a 13-year-old boy.
Maria Velez was an instructional aide at Clark Elementary School in 2015 just before being hired by the police department.
During her time as an instructional aide, she’s accused of repeatedly having sex with a 13-year-old boy between March 2015 and December 2015.
Adam Ferrise with Cleveland.com reports that court records show that when she found out that she was under investigation, she called the boy and asked him to lie.
Ferrise reports that Cleveland Metropolitan School District spokeswoman Roseann Canfora said that Velez had resigned from the school in 2015 in order to accept a job with the police department.
No reports of impropriety had been made while Velez was employed at the elementary school.
Canforna said in a statement, “The allegation did not surface when she was an employee of the district; however when the allegation surfaced recently against the former employee, the information was referred to CPD and the Department of Children and Family Services.”
The police union responded to the allegations.
“Like all Americans, Officer Velez is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law,” Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association President Steve Loomis said in a text message to Ferrise. “A rush to judgement is speculative (and) not warranted. We trust in our criminal justice system to determine the truth in this matter.”
Velez wrote on LinkedIn that her goal was to become an FBI agent.
Velez has been suspended indefinitely without pay and was booked on a charge of sexual battery. Her bond was set at $10,000.
Sexual battery is a third-degree felony with a potential of up to five years in prison.
It’s not clear if Velez has bonded out or of she remains in jail.