Customs Officer Pleads Guilty to Sexual Groping

MIAMI (AP) -- A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer has pleaded guilty to three civil rights offenses for sexually groping three women at Miami International Airport.

Federal prosecutors say the 47-year-old entered the plea Tuesday.

Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 26 in Ft. Lauderdale. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of three years in prison and a fine of up to $300,000.

During plea proceedings, Morales admitted that he groped three women in his custody at the airport without their consent last year.

Miami U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said in a statement that Morales "misused his office and his power" and violated the civil rights of the victims.

A six-count indictment charged Morales with three felony counts of abusive sexual contact and three misdemeanor counts of deprivation of civil rights.


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