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August 1, 2014

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Metro officer accused of misconduct ordered to jail, faces house arrest upon posting bail

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AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Las Vegas police officer Solomon Coleman waits to be called before surrendering in court, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in Las Vegas. Justice of the Peace William Kephart set bail at $16,000 and placed the 28-year-old police officer on house arrest pending a January preliminary hearing of allegations that he sexually harassed women he met during routine calls.

Updated Friday, Aug. 9, 2013 | 10:08 a.m.

The Metro Police officer accused of using his position to take advantage of women will see the other side of the law.

A Las Vegas judge ordered Solomon Coleman, 28, to surrender himself to authorities at the Clark County Detention Center by 9 a.m. Friday, and a Metro official on Friday said Coleman had met the deadline.

Coleman has been charged with two counts of oppression under color of office, two counts of open or gross lewdness and one count of capturing an image of the private area of another person, according to a criminal complaint. A warrant for his arrest was issued last week.

Coleman, wearing a gray suit and surrounded by family and friends, appeared briefly this morning in Las Vegas Justice Court, where Judge William Kephart set bail at $16,000.

Josh Tomsheck, Coleman’s defense attorney, said Coleman intended to post bail as soon as he finished the booking process at the jail.

If Coleman posts bail, he will be placed on house arrest and must not contact any alleged victims, Kephart ordered.

“Let your attorney handle everything,” Kephart warned Coleman. “Don’t go proactive and screw it up.”

An incident May 31 sparked the investigation that led to Metro detectives issuing a warrant for his arrest. The following are details from the arrest warrant:

A woman contacted police and reported that an officer who had responded to her residence for a domestic-violence call had been inappropriate with her. Police had arrested her boyfriend during the call.

Afterward, an officer — later identified as Coleman — stayed at the woman’s residence and insisted that he check for bruises on her “ass.” Coleman then pulled down the woman’s shorts and underwear, despite the woman’s insistence that she was not injured there.

The woman said she complied and bent over because she felt threatened.

The woman said Coleman proceeded to grab his pants near his groin and made inappropriate comments of a sexual nature.

At that point, the woman’s 5-year-old son walked in, so Coleman encouraged the boy to go watch television in another room.

As the woman pulled up her shorts, Coleman walked into the woman’s bathroom and exposed himself to her while asking if she “liked it.”

Coleman then left but said he would return when his shift ended. At 1:30 a.m., he returned and knocked on the woman’s door, but she didn’t answer.

As the investigation progressed, detectives secured a search warrant to check Coleman’s cell phone. On it, they found a series of sexually explicit videos he had recorded from another phone.

Detectives later determined the other phone belonged to a woman he had helped arrest. The woman had lost her cell phone during her arrest and had never given Coleman permission to go through it.

Another video on Coleman’s cell phone depicted a woman answering questions while sitting on a table.

When detectives identified and made contact with her, the woman admitted she and Coleman had sent sexual text messages to each other. The two met when the woman called police to complain about her neighbor.

Coleman later sent the woman a text message and asked to return because he had her driver’s license. When Coleman stopped by, the woman said he began complimenting her and asked for photos of her “stuff.”

Coleman later asked the woman if she was grabbing for his “gun” and motioned to his groin.

After Coleman left, the woman said they exchanged 20 text messages, which became increasingly sexual. She also sent him photos of her breasts.

Police officials said Coleman has been placed on administrative leave, but after today’s hearing, the department would initiate the process to have him suspended without pay.

Metro hired Coleman in February 2008, a police spokesman said, and was assigned to the patrol division of the Southeast Area Command.

Coleman’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14. Chief Deputy District Attorney Lisa Luzaich is prosecuting the case.

Tomsheck cautioned the public from rushing to judgment until further details were revealed. Coleman, who is married, was born and raised in Las Vegas, Tomsheck said.

“It will all come out eventually,” Tomsheck said.

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