Officer surrenders on felony warrant
A Carson City alternative sentencing officer charged in the molestations of six female probationers, surrendered to the Douglas County Jail today on a warrant.
Aaron Lewis, 36, turned himself in on a warrant to the jail this afternoon, said Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini. He was then booked and released on his own recognizance as prearranged last week between his attorney Larry Digesti and the Attorney General’s Office which filed the criminal complaint.
A criminal complaint filed in Carson City District Court last week charges Lewis with seven felony counts of misconduct of a public officer, eight gross misdemeanor counts of oppression under color of office, six gross misdemeanor counts of open and gross lewdness and one felony count of coercion using physical force.
The complaint alleges that Lewis, an officer with the Carson City Department of Alternative Sentencing which monitors people out on bail and on city probation, , used threats of arrest to force at least six women into disrobing, touched one woman’s genitals while touching himself, and subjected the women to inspections of their genitals and breasts under the ruse that he was looking for drugs or needle marks.
According to Carson City Alternative Sentencing Chief Rory Planeta, the allegations came to light in September and Lewis was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay.
“Once we got an allegation we went by the book and we went ahead and put him on admin leave. We requested Douglas County do an internal investigation and because the allegations were serious enough I requested the Attorney General’s Office do a criminal investigation. We’ve been out of it ever since,” said Planeta.
He said the internal investigation continues but findings are expected in the coming days.
“From there there’s a review board and we’ll do what the review suggests as the next course,” he said. “According to the Peace Officer’s Bill of Rights we have to maintain employment until the (internal investigation) is done at the very least. Just because there was an arrest doesn’t mean he’s automatically terminated.”
Lewis will be arraigned in Carson City Justice Court on April 1.