A Bronx, N.Y., police officer who also works as a pastor and was facing multiple charges for allegedly being in a relationship with a 16-year-old girl was cleared of all charges Wednesday, the New York Post reports.
A judge cleared Vladimir Sosa, an officer with the 46th Precinct, after prosecutors reportedly could not prove that he had a sexual relationship with the teen, whom he reportedly met while she was attending a youth program at the Iglesia Metodista Libre el Remanente, where he is a pastor.
“There was not enough credible evidence to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt,” a spokeswoman for the Bronx District Attorney’s Office said, according to the Post.
According to the report, Sosa’s lawyers claimed that they submitted an audio recording last month in which the girl admitted that she was 17, and not 16, when she began her relationship with Sosa. New York’s age of consent is 17, the Post notes. Investigators also went to the Dominican Republic, where the teen is originally from, and reportedly discovered the detail while checking birth records.
The victim accused Sosa of using his position in the church to encourage a sexual relationship.
Sosa was arrested in March and faced charges of rape, sexual misconduct, sex abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The girl’s family said that the teen suffered from the relationship—which her mother discovered and reported after finding disturbing texts on the teen’s phone.
Read more at the New York Post.