Maria Velez is a convicted sex offender and a former police officer with the Cleveland Police Department in Cleveland, Ohio. In April 2018 she pleaded guilty to charges accusing her of molesting a 13-year-old boy. 
Maria Velez was hired as a police officer with the Cleveland Police Department in December 2015. Prior to her arrest in October 2017 her most recent assignment was Fifth District on Basic Patrol. After her arrest she was suspended without pay.  After pleading guilty to sex crimes in April 2018 she resigned from the Cleveland Police Department. 
Before she became an officer, Maria Velez was a Bilingual Paraprofessional at Clark Elementary with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District in 2015.  She resigned from the position in December 2015. 
From February-December 2011, Maria Velez was a Work Study Secretary for John Carroll University. In this role, she ran errands, answered phone calls, wrote daily reports, and completed banking transactions. 
On Thursday, April 12, 2018 Maria Velez pleaded guilty to to unlawful sexual contact with a minor, attempted felonious assault, and tampering with evidence after molesting a 13-year-old male student. She was previously charged with sexual battery. 
Maria Velez also agreed to resign from the department and must register as a sex offender every six months for 25 years. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Brendan Sheehan accepted the plea deal. He will sentence Velez on May 21. 
That relationship turned sexual, and the two had sexual encounters throughout much of the year, Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Matthew Meyer said in court Thursday. 
Velez left her job as a teacher's aide to enter Cleveland's police academy and joined the force as a patrol officer.
The boy and his mother went to police in September, 2017 to report the relationship, and detectives in the department's internal affairs unit launched an investigation. 
When Velez learned about the investigation, she called the boy and his mother and told them to lie to conceal the relationship, Meyer said. 
In March 2018 Cleveland Municipal School District spokeswoman Roseann Canfora said that the district was unaware of any accusations of impropriety on Velez's part while she was employed.