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Las Vegas police officer formally charged in lewdness case

Updated May 13, 2019 - 7:47 pm

Las Vegas police officer Matthew Terry, who is accused of lewdness with at least three boys, was formally charged Monday morning in Henderson Justice Court.

Shackled and wearing a red jail jumpsuit, the 27-year-old Henderson resident, who at the time of his arrest last week was assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s northwest area command, waived the reading of his criminal complaint.

He is charged with six counts of lewdness with a child under 14, three counts of child abuse or neglect, two counts of attempted lewdness with a child under 14, and one count each of open or gross lewdness and luring a child.

Terry, who joined Metro in February 2014, was placed on paid leave following his arrest on May 7. He was relieved of duty without pay upon formal charging, Metro spokesman Larry Hadfield said Monday afternoon.

He will return to court for a bail hearing Tuesday morning. Terry has been held at the Henderson Detention Center on $120,000 bail since his arrest.

Outside the courtroom on Monday, defense attorney Robert Draskovich told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Terry was being held “basically in solitary confinement.”

“We want to get him out immediately given his history with law enforcement,” he said.

Terry did not speak during his arraignment Monday but maintained his innocence through his lawyer.

Draskovich also told the Review-Journal that the charges against Terry were “a reach” and questioned whether any of the allegations would “hold up in court.”

Arrest reports for Terry show a common thread among his alleged victims: an absence of a father figure in their lives.

The boys’ claims ranged from Terry showing them how to masturbate, watching pornography with them, rubbing their thighs, trying to cuddle with the boys while they slept and asking to shower with them. Their ages are redacted in the documents.

The first reports of concern over Terry’s actions came as early as August 2017, after a Metro employee noticed Terry’s “strange behavior in his relationships with younger boys.”

According to his arrest reports, Terry has been coaching youth sports for the last five years.

In one instance, the Metro employee said, she encountered Terry with a boy who “seemed shy and didn’t say anything without looking at Matthew first, and Matthew would answer for him,” according to the report.

Metro investigated the 2017 allegations, but at the time, there were “no findings that would arise to the level of a crime,” the report stated.

By late March, more allegations against him had surfaced, leading to his arrest.

During an interview following his arrest, Terry denied the allegations against him but said that it was normal behavior for him to “wrestle around” with the boys and that he “may have walked in on them changing” in the past, according to the report.

His preliminary hearing is set for May 30.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Mike Shoro contributed to this report.

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