A former Charlotte County prosecutor was arrested for bribery after allegedly having a sexual relationship with a woman in exchange for offering help in her pending criminal case, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Wednesday.
The woman was being prosecuted for domestic battery, according to a press release.
Juan Mercado, 29, allegedly offered to “make her case go away” in exchange for sex. Mercado was not the assigned prosecutor on the case, but he did access records and provide information and advice to the woman, according to a press release.
Mercado was booked into the Miami-Dade Jail. Online records showed he had bonded out Tuesday, but his bond information was not available.
Mercado started his job at the State Attorney’s Office for the 20th Judicial Circuit on May 22, 2017, and his last day was Feb. 5, 2019, according to Spokesperson Samantha Syoen. The 20th Judicial Circuit covers Charlotte, Lee, Glades, Hendry, and Collier counties.
Syoen said Mercado worked in the Charlotte County office. According to online court records, Mercado was assigned to at least 28 Charlotte County cases.
Amira Fox, State Attorney for the 12th Judicial Circuit, had previously disqualified herself from Mercado’s case, and Gov. Ron DeSantis assigned the investigation and prosecution to the 12th Judicial Circuit.