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Ex-NLV officer pleads guilty to misconduct

A former North Las Vegas Police officer accused of attempting to gain sexual favors, including oral sex, from women he cited for traffic violations pleaded guilty to five gross misdemeanors Tuesday.

James Vernon Clayton begrudgingly said he was guilty to each count as District Judge James Bixler read them to him.

Clayton pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted misconduct by a police officer and two counts of oppression under color of office. Clayton could receive probation or a maximum of five years in jail.

Authorities have said there were at least five victims.

One victim alleged that, over the course of a few weeks, Clayton pulled her over twice, ran into her at a mall and went to the strip club where she worked and requested a lap dance from her.

Other victims said he would call, send text messages or show up at their home and work. Another victim said Clayton exposed himself to her.

A month ago, Clayton told Bixler he did not do the acts described in the plea agreement. At the time, Bixler ordered the matter continued for prosecutors and a defense attorney to work out any issues.

On Tuesday, with his hands shaking and taking a long moment before answering, Clayton admitted his guilt.

At one point, he tried to argue over the particulars, telling Bixler he did not recognize the name of one of his accusers. Bixler asked Clayton if he recognized the criminal act that was described, and the former police officer agreed.

Clayton is scheduled to be sentenced May 18. He is out of custody on $73,000 bond.

The former police officer was arrested a year ago after a five-month investigation and originally charged with seven felonies of police misconduct and misdemeanor lewdness.

Clayton was a three-year veteran of the department when he was charged. He was fired in January.

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at fmccabe@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039.

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