Cook County sheriff’s officer charged with attempted sexual assault

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A Cook County sheriff’s officer who was in bond court Thursday is facing a charge of attempted sexual assault, authorities said.

Fernando Rodriguez, 52, was charged with attempted aggravated criminal sexual assault; aggravated unlawful restraint; and official misconduct — all felony counts, Chicago Police said.

Rodriguez was arrested after he allegedly persuaded a 37-year-old woman to enter his vehicle about 1 a.m. Dec. 31 in the 1500 block of North Avers, police said. When she tried to leave, he stopped her and attempted to sexually assault her while armed with a handgun, police said.

According to a police report, Chicago Police officers questioned Rodriguez when they spotted an orange Dodge Charger double parked at that location, but he responded to them by showing his Cook County sheriff’s office badge and saying, “It’s ok guys, I’m on the job.”

A woman, who is a “known prostitute,” then exited the Charger’s passenger seat and told the officers that Rodriguez had invited the woman to get into his car, showed her his holstered handgun and implied a sexual act, the police report said.

The police report states that Rodriguez told the woman, “Take care of me the right way and I’ll let you walk.” When officers arrived, Rodriguez “grabbed her left arm and stated: ‘Be cool.’”

Rodriguez was a deputy sheriff in the Civil Process unit and was not on duty at the time of the incident, said Sophia Ansari, spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office. He has been de-deputized, and the sheriff’s office has launched a disciplinary investigation, Ansari said.

Rodriguez, who lives in River Grove, was given an I-bond and released on his own recognizance Thursday, Ansari said. He is expected to appear in court again Friday.

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