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Reports detail lewdness charges against Las Vegas police officer

Henderson police have identified at least three potential victims of Las Vegas police officer Matthew James Terry, who was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of lewdness with children.

The arrest reports for the 27-year-old Henderson resident, who at the time of his arrest was assigned to the Metropolitan Police Department’s northwest area command, show a common thread among his alleged victims: an absence of a father figure in their lives.

The boys’ ages are redacted in the documents.

Court records show two cases against Terry. In one, he faces three counts of lewdness with a child under 14, two counts of attempted lewdness, six counts of child abuse or neglect, and one count of luring a child. In the other, he faces three counts of a lewdness with a child under 14, one count of luring a child, and three counts of open or gross lewdness.

The first reports of others showing concern about Terry’s actions came in 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 this week.

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.

Parents also told police that they had seen Terry tackling boys and “tickling them playfully,” according to the reports.

In one of the interviews with one of Terry’s potential victims, the detective left the room briefly, leaving him alone in the room.

While waiting, he whispered to himself, “Matt likes children,” according to the report.

Terry was taken into custody during a traffic stop Tuesday on the 800 block of Olivia Parkway in Henderson.

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.

The alleged victims described Terry to police as “very persistent.”

“And when you tell him no, he gets mad,” said one boy, according to the reports.

Terry, who joined Metro in February 2014, has been placed on paid leave until he is formally charged, at which point he will be “relieved of duty” without pay, Metro has said.

He is being held on $120,000 bail at the Henderson Detention Center, and his arraignments are set for Monday and Tuesday morning in Henderson Justice Court.

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

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