A judge on Thursday dropped domestic violence charges against a former Henderson police officer who faces unrelated sexual assault charges.
Michael Ray Stevens, 43, was arrested Dec. 21 after his girlfriend told Henderson police that Stevens put her in a chokehold, slapped her multiple times and prevented her from leaving a room, according to his arrest report. At Stevens’ preliminary hearing in Henderson Justice Court on Thursday morning, a judge dropped two counts of felony domestic battery by strangulation and two misdemeanor counts of domestic battery.
The judge dropped the charges on recommendation from a state prosecutor. It was not immediately clear Thursday why they were dropped.
Stevens’ attorney, Nicholas Wooldridge, has said he filed an affidavit in court showing the woman recanted her statements to police, but he declined to provide the affidavit after multiple requests this month. Henderson Justice Court said Tuesday that a copy of the document was unavailable.
In November 2017, Stevens was charged with sexual assault, Henderson court records show. Wooldridge has said the domestic violence and sexual assault cases are unrelated.
In a March 2018 preliminary hearing in District Court, the woman in the sexual assault case testified that Stevens, whom she knew, assaulted her in Henderson in July 2014, when she was 17.
“In my eyes, he’s a police officer, and I’m in a location I do now know,” she testified about the alleged assault, before adding that she “felt defenseless.”
Wooldridge argued in that hearing that the two had consensual sex.
Stevens pleaded not guilty to the sexual assault charges. His trial is set for Jan. 22 in District Court.
Stevens was also arrested in 2010 and accused of soliciting a prostitute while he worked at the Police Department, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported at the time.