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August 1, 2014

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Fired Metro cop pleads not guilty to lewdness, indecent exposure

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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.

A former Metro Police officer accused of sexually harassing two women while on the job pleaded not guilty this morning in Clark County District Court.

Solomon Coleman waived his right to a speedy trial, and Judge Valorie Vega set a trial date for Sept. 15.

A Clark County grand jury returned an indictment Dec. 6 charging Coleman with two counts of oppression under color of office, two counts of open or gross lewdness, one count of capturing an image of the private area of another person and one count of indecent exposure. Metro terminated his employment on Dec. 11.

An incident May 31 sparked an investigation that led Metro detectives to issue a warrant for Coleman’s arrest.

The following details are outlined in 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. During the call, police arrested her boyfriend. Afterward, an officer — later identified as Coleman — stayed at the woman’s residence and insisted that he check for bruises on the woman's bottom. Coleman 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 then grabbed 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, and 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 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 Coleman 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 toward 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.

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

Coleman remains on house arrest and is under court order to not have contact with any of his alleged victims.

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