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Maria Velez

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Photo of Maria Velez in uniform [8]

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. [2]

Education

In 2014, Maria Velez graduated from John Carroll University ​ with a Bachelor of Science ​ in Psychology ​ with a Spanish minor. [2]

Career

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. [6] ​ After pleading guilty to sex crimes in April 2018 she resigned from the Cleveland Police Department. [2]

Before she became an officer, Maria Velez was a Bilingual Paraprofessional at Clark Elementary with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District ​ in 2015. [6] ​ She resigned from the position in December 2015. [4]

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. [3]

Criminal Record

Youtube Video
Cleveland.com ​: Cleveland police officer pleads guilty to having sex with student before joining force

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. [4]

Maria Velez faces anywhere from probation ​ to up to nine years in prison after she struck a deal with prosecutors ​ that saw the most serious charges she faced, sexual battery ​, reduced. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]

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. [2]

When Velez learned about the investigation, she called the boy and his mother and told them to lie to conceal the relationship, Meyer said. [2]

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. [2]

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