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Peter Jean-Gilles

Other Miami-Dade County Exonerations
In December 2011, police officers in Biscayne Park, Florida learned of three burglaries in their community, a suburb of Miami.

For reasons that are not clear in court records, officers arrested 36-year-old Peter Jean-Gilles on January 12, 2012. In papers filed with the arrest, Police Chief Raymond Atesiano and Officer Charlie Dayoub included confessional statements about the crimes that they attributed to Jean-Gilles. The statements were not recorded.

Police charged Jean-Gilles with five counts of burglary, four counts of theft, and trespassing. At the time, Jean-Gilles had previous convictions for larceny and burglary. He pled guilty in Miami-Dade Circuit Court to the 10 counts on April 16, 2012, and received a sentence of five years in prison.

The Biscayne Park village council promoted Atesiano to chief of police in 2013. On July 9, 2013, Atesiano boasted at a council meeting that he and his officers had a 100 percent clearance rate on burglaries.

In 2014, the Biscayne Park town manager received anonymous letters that raised concerns about Atesiano’s policing tactics. The town manager ordered an independent investigation of the department by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office. Officers told the investigators that Atesiano had instructed them to file false charges against defendants to improve the village’s arrest statistics. One officer said he was told, “If you see anybody Black walking through our streets and they have somewhat of a record, arrest them so we can pin them for all the burglaries.”

Atesiano resigned during the probe. The state indicted Atesiano, Dayoub, and former Reserve Officer Raul Fernandez on June 7, 2018, on two counts of violating the civil rights of a teenager known in court documents as T.D. The indictment said that Atesiano told Dayoub and Fernandez to arrest T.D. on four burglary counts, even though no evidence connected T.D. to the crimes. The state later dropped the charges against T.D.

Dayoub and Fernandez each pled guilty to a single count of deprivation of civil rights on August 3, 2018, and each later received a sentence of one year in federal prison. Atesiano pled guilty to a single charge of conspiracy against rights on September 14, 2018, and later received a sentence of three years in prison.

After the pleas, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office began reviewing convictions involving Atesiano and the other officers. Jean-Gilles had been released from prison on April 8, 2017. A judge in Miami-Dade Circuit Court vacated Jean-Gilles’s convictions and dismissed the charges on June 7, 2019.

The motion to dismiss, filed by a prosecutor with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, said: “The only evidence in these cases are alleged unrecorded statements made by the defendant to Officer Dayoub and Chief Atesiano. Both Officer Dayoub and Chief Atesiano have pled guilty in federal court for charges related to the falsifying of arrest affidavits. As such, the defendant’s judgments and sentences in this case should be vacated.”

Judges dismissed felony convictions for 25 defendants and misdemeanor convictions for six defendants related to the misconduct by Atesiano and other former officers in the Biscayne Park Police Department.

– Ken Otterbourg

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Posting Date: 5/26/2022
Last Updated: 5/26/2022
Most Serious Crime:Burglary/Unlawful Entry
Additional Convictions:Theft, Misdemeanor
Reported Crime Date:2011
Sentence:5 years
Age at the date of reported crime:36
Contributing Factors:False Confession, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No