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4th potential victim found in Las Vegas police officer lewdness case

Updated May 14, 2019 - 1:27 pm

Investigators have identified a fourth potential victim of Las Vegas police officer Matthew Terry, who is accused of lewdness with boys dating back to at least 2008, according to a prosecutor.

Additional charges are expected to be filed against Terry, a 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. He joined Metro in February 2014.

Terry was relieved of duty without pay on Monday after he was formally charged in Henderson Justice Court 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 returned to court on Tuesday morning for a bail hearing, during which his attorney, Robert Draskovich, said that Terry does not have any criminal history in Clark County, emphasizing that all Metro employees are subject to “various polygraphs” that should have uncovered any past criminal conduct.

“Nothing came from that,” he said.

But prosecutor Alissa Engle argued that the investigation has revealed alleged criminal behavior dating back to at least 2008, “prior to and current to his Metro employment.” Terry, a lifelong Southern Nevada resident, would have been 16 at the time.

According to state law, any offense constituting sexual abuse against a child may be prosecuted up until the victim is 36 or 43, depending on when he or she discovers that they were a victim of sexual abuse. The suspect must be indicted within four years thereafter.

The fourth potential victim, identified last week, lived in Terry’s neighborhood, Engle said, noting that the new allegations are “even more concerning” than those of the first three victims that investigators have identified.

Those 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, according to his arrest reports. The boys’ ages are redacted in the documents.

Listing the current counts against Terry, Engle said, “I conservatively charged this based on the information I had at the time which was simply the reports. But beyond the allegations, the state has significant concerns for the safety of the community. Victims he sought appeared to be through youth activities.”

Arrest reports for Terry, who has been coaching youth sports for the last five years, show a common thread among his alleged victims: an absence of a father figure in their lives.

But Draskovich said mounting allegations in such cases are “not uncommon.”

“In a case like this that’s covered by the press, people watch TV and they go, ‘You know what? I may have been a victim x amount of years ago,’” he said. “It’s going to be our position that this case was tainted at the get-go.”

Through Draskovich, Terry maintained his innocence.

Justice of the Peace Stephen George ultimately set Terry’s bail at $122,000. He has been in custody since his arrest on May 7.

Should he post bond, Terry will be under intensive supervision, will be prohibited from having any direct or indirect contact with minors, and will not be allowed near any schools, parks or youth centers.

If he violates any of his bail conditions, he will be sent back to the Henderson Detention Center and will be held without bail.

Terry’s preliminary hearing in the case also was reset from May 30 to May 29.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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