carlos-periu-web.jpgBy ELGIN JONES

CORAL SPRINGS — A Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputy is the target of a criminal investigation into allegations that he had inappropriate sexual contact with another deputy’s 8-year-old autistic daughter.

The investigation involves Carlos Periu, 40, who has been with BSO for 10 years. The child has used graphic details to describe the acts which she says he committed. The child is the daughter of another BSO deputy and the two families have been close friends for years, South Florida Times has learned.

The case is being investigated by detectives from the sex crimes division of the Coral Springs Police Department.

Police are not releasing details and this newspaper is not publishing the names of the child and her parents.

“The investigation has not been completed and I am not able to discuss any details at this time,” David Kirkland, public information officer for the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Unit of the Coral Springs Police Department, said in an email to South Florida Times.

Periu’s family had invited the girl’s family over for a visit during the Thanksgiving holiday and that was when the incident allegedly occurred.

The child later told her mother in explicit terms about a “secret” involving “Uncle Carlos.” Her parents contacted police and took the child to Broward County’s Sexual Assault Treatment Center for a forensic examination that included questioning by investigators.

The results of the examination are not known but Coral Springs police informed BSO of their investigation. Even though BSO is not involved and the case is not related to Periu’s work, the agency placed him on administrative leave on Dec. 19.

Periu’s patrol car was seized and its doors and trunk were sealed with bright red “evidence” tape before being taken to a garage for examination.

In addition to his work as a sheriff’s deputy, Periu owns CCC Entertainment, a company that provides music, photography, video, bounce houses and other entertainment services at parties, weddings, and other functions. His company has worked at BSO events.

Jim Lejedal, BSO’s director of media relations, said he was not familiar with Periu’s company and was not sure what, if any, impact his suspension would have on any future relationship with the sheriff’s office.

BSO hired Periu in 2001 and he works in the Pompano Beach district, earning $69,908 annually.

As a general rule, BSO employees are prohibited from discussing pending investigations and co-workers were reluctant to speak about the allegations. But some described Periu as friendly and incapable of doing what he is accused of.

It is unclear when the investigation will be completed or if the case has been presented to prosecutors. Officials at the Broward State Attorney’s Office declined comment when contacted. Coral Springs police say they are unable to provide any timetable.

“I am curious, however, as to how you learned about the case,” Kirkland, the Coral Springs police spokesman, said. “As soon as I am able to release any information, I will let you know.”