WEST PALM BEACH — The Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office has declined to file charges against a Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) deputy who was under investigation after being accused of molesting a co-worker’s 8-year-old autistic daughter.
But the deputy, Carlos Periu, 40, is still under investigation in Broward County over the allegation that he molested the child, who is the daughter of his best friend, also a BSO deputy.
The incidents allegedly took place over several months at Periu’s Coral Springs home in Broward County and at the girl’s Boca Raton home in Palm Beach County.
The investigation began after the child spoke about the alleged incidents after her family visited the Perius during the Thanksgiving Day holiday.
Periu denied the allegations several times when questioned by the girl’s parents during phone calls. One of the calls was arranged and monitored by police.
Palm Beach County Sheriff’s detectives completed their investigation on Jan. 19 and submitted a probable cause affidavit to prosecutors. The detectives recommended that sexual battery on a child charges be filed against Periu.
“Based on the information learned in this investigation, probable cause exists to charge defendant Carlos Periu with sexual battery on a child,” Det. Nicole Addazio wrote in her report.
Despite that recommendation, Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael F. McAuliffe’s office declined to file charges against Periu.
“Although probable cause to arrest exist, the state declines to file charges. There is no reasonable likelihood of successful prosecution,” Assistant State Attorney Jessica L. Johnston wrote in her closeout memo.
However, in Broward County, the child was taken to the county’s Sexual Assault Treatment Center where she was examined. Periu’s squad car was seized as evidence and sealed for forensic examination. The child’s teacher told investigators she noticed behavioral changes in her. She said the child became talkative and engaged in pronounced nail biting.
Periu, who could still face charges in Broward County, could not be reached for comment and his attorney, Albert Milian, did not return calls.
South Florida Times first reported on Dec. 9, 2011 , that the Coral Springs police department opened an investigation of Periu. Periu’s family had invited the girl’s family for a visit during the Thanksgiving holiday. Afterwards, the child, who suffers from a form of autism known as Asperger's Syndrome told her parents about a “secret” she and “Uncle Carlos” had, according to police.
This newspaper is not publishing the names of the child and her parents. Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office officials were contacted after the child told investigators in Broward County that some of those “secrets” took place at her Boca Raton home .
According to the closeout memo, investigators used gingerbread drawings and dolls while questioning the child. She placed the male doll on top of the female doll and described in sexually explicit details what allegedly happened. During interviews she alleged that “Uncle Carlos” touched her on her [private parts] but that “he doesn’t do it anymore.”
She also alleged that the incidents occurred several times, including one while she was on the floor of her bedroom and also in an office at Periu’s home.
In addition to his work as a sheriff’s deputy, Periu is the owner of CCC Entertainment, a company that provides music, photography, video, bounce houses and other services at parties and other events. His company has provided services at BSO functions.
Periu joined the BSO in 2001 and is stationed in the Pompano Beach district, earning $69,908 annually. He is on paid leave while the Broward County investigation is completed.
*Pictured above is Broward Sheriff's deputy Carlos Periu.