New allegations against police officer accused of coercing women to expose their breasts


Two more women are alleging misconduct against a Las Vegas police officer who was arrested this month on charges that he coerced women into exposing their breasts while on duty last year.

Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Ray Flynn said Tuesday that the new allegations against John Norman were investigated but did not rise to the level of crimes.

He added that separate internal investigations on each allegation of misconduct have begun because Norman might have broken internal regulations along the lines of conduct unbecoming of an officer.

"Detectives felt there very well could have been policy violations," said Flynn, who declined to provide additional details.

Norman was booked into the Clark County Detention Center Feb. 1 on felony charges of coercion and oppression under the color of office and misdemeanor open or gross lewdness.

Norman's own department alleges that in 2011 he pulled over two women in separate traffic stops and coerced them into showing their breasts.

He also is accused of fondling one of the women.

Flynn said the two new women came forward after police held a news conference the day of Norman's arrest and asked the public to report any questionable encounters with the officer.

There are four ongoing internal investigations of misconduct against Norman, a case for each allegation against him. County prosecutors also are pursuing the criminal charges against him.

Las Vegas Police Protective Association Executive Director Chris Collins said Norman is being represented by the union in both the criminal and internal investigations.

"We're doing our due diligence to find out all the facts and circumstances of the case," Collins said.

He declined to comment on the allegations against Norman, citing the ongoing investigations.

"We'll handle it no differently than any other case of one of our officers," Collins said.

Norman, hired in July 2008, is on unpaid administrative leave. When notified of case against him in late December, the 33-year-old officer retained attorneys and refused to speak with investigators.

Flynn said he didn't know when the two new allegations against Norman were reported to have occurred. He said the internal investigations are in preliminary stages. Flynn declined to discuss the new cases because Norman hasn't been interviewed about them yet.

If Norman refuses to speak with Internal Affairs personnel, he could be charged with insubordination. He also could lose his job if the criminal charges against him are sustained, Flynn said.

According to Norman's arrest report, a woman on Dec. 28 reported to police that she had been pulled over and groped during a traffic stop.

Police said the stop occurred Dec. 11 near Tropicana and Eastern avenues.

Norman told her to pull into the back of a church parking lot so he could conduct some tests.

The report said that during the traffic stop, the woman told Norman that she had a prior arrest for driving under the influence and that during the arrest marijuana was found.

Norman told the woman he stopped her because she didn't have license plate lights.

The report said Norman asked to "physically search" her.

The woman consented. Norman asked whether she would be more comfortable if a female officer conducted the search.

Norman told the woman he needed to search her bra "because women put things in their bra or sew things into their bra," the report said.

There were two other women inside the stopped vehicle. Norman turned on his patrol car's spotlight and shined it on the car that was pulled over.

In hindsight, the woman involved believed "this was done to prevent the girls in the car from witnessing what happened," the report said.

Norman then asked the woman to lift her shirt. At one point, she took off her bra on his order, and he groped her, the report said.

Norman told the woman he was not going to cite her because of her cooperation. He let her go without performing a field sobriety test.

The woman was unable to pick Norman out of a photo lineup.

The bra worn by the woman during the stop was taken as evidence and will be tested for Norman's DNA.

On Jan. 1, a second woman came forward and told investigators that she, her cousin and her cousin's children were at a convenience store June 23 when they noticed a uniformed officer looking at them.

The officer was later identified as Norman.

Norman followed the group out of the store. When the woman pulled her vehicle into an apartment complex near Flamingo and Paradise roads, Norman blocked them with his patrol vehicle and approached, the report said.

He told the driver he didn't have a reason to stop her but said they were in a high-crime area.

One of the women admitted to Norman that she had warrants for traffic offenses, the report said.

Norman told her he was going to arrest her for the warrants.

While patting her down, Norman asked her to put her fingers under her bra and shake it to makes sure nothing was in the bra.

The report said Norman searched her twice before putting her in the back of his patrol car. He then drove around the corner.

Norman told the woman it was her lucky day because he had to go out on a "hot call" so she wasn't going to be arrested. When he removed her handcuffs, he repeatedly ask whether she had anything hidden in her bra.

Norman also said she wasn't doing what he asked correctly. After asking her for a third time to shake out her bra, he said: "My, aren't we bashful today," the report said

The fearful and frustrated woman sensed that Norman wanted to see her breasts, pulled down her shirt and bra and exposed her right breast, the report said.

Norman then told her she was free to go, the report said.

The woman in the second case was able to pick out Norman in a photo lineup.

Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638.

 

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