Sixth woman testifies in probation sex case
The preliminary hearing for a Carson City probation officer charged with abusing female probationers was continued to July following testimony Friday morning from the sixth of seven alleged victims.
Former Carson City Department of Alternative Sentencing Officer Aaron Lewis is charged with is charged with eight felony counts of misconduct of a public officer, nine gross misdemeanor counts of oppression under color of office, seven gross misdemeanor counts of open and gross lewdness and one felony count of coercion using physical force.
During a hearing on Thursday, five of the alleged victims testified Lewis allegedly coerced them into showing their genitalia under threat of arrest.
Lewis’ attorney Larry Digesti brought out that the first victim, Melissa Mulder, 20, was a stripper at one time and a heroin addict. Several of the other women also have substance abuse problems, including one in custody now and awaiting a bed in an in-patient rehab center. All of the woman had consumed drugs or alcohol, or both, on the nights in question.
On Friday, the sixth victim said that in September Lewis came to her home with two other officers in search of two people with warrants. In the living room, she said, Lewis found a marijuana pipe.
When he got her in her bedroom alone, she said, he allegedly touched her genitals and had her bare her breasts under the guise of looking for drugs and the threat of calling child protective services and arrest.
“He asked if he could do a regular pat down and I said yes, and he did it,” she said. “He said are you sure you don’t have anything on you and I said yes. He said, ‘Grab your shirt and your bra and pull it from your chest and shake them.’ So I did and nothing fell out. A few minutes later he goes, ‘Well I just don’t believe you.’ And he asked me to take my shirt off and I said ‘Isn’t that type of searches supposed to be conducted by a female officer?’ And he said, ‘not if your suspicious.’ And at that point I was frustrated and I just went like this and showed my breasts.”
“And then what happened,” asked Deputy Attorney General Ronda Clifton.
“He seemed to satisfied at that point and he said don’t talk to anybody, don’t do anything just go downstairs and go to sleep,” she said.
The woman said she’d been drinking vodka and had taken Vicodin for a dental procedure. When Clifton asked about her impairment, she said, “I wasn’t so intoxicated I couldn’t take care of my child.”
The woman said she went down onto the couch and fell asleep. Around 1 a.m. she heard her door opening.
When she looked, she said, Lewis was allegedly walking into her home.
“He asked me to go upstairs and I went into my son’s room,” she said, noting she was wearing a tank top with daisy-duke shorts and no underwear.
“He said ‘what can we do to squash this weed pipe thing?’ and I said ‘dude I don’t know what you want me to do,'” she said. “And he asked to search me again. I pretty much thinking to myself, ‘sure, if it’s gonna make you happy, sure.'”
She said Lewis slid his hand into her shorts during the search and touched her genitals.
“He said, ‘You look a lot better than the last time I saw you.’ He goes, ‘Could you show me your boobs again cause that was really nice?'” she said. “And I just lifted up my shirt and he grabbed them and touched them. Then all of a sudden he acted like his phone was ringing or something. Grabbed it out of his pocket and was in such a hurry to leave.”
When Clifton asked if she was certain of her memory, the woman said she was.
“When something that startling happens, it should to anybody, just snap you out of whatever intoxication you’re in, ’cause that’s not a normal everyday thing,” she said.
Upon questioning by Digesti, the woman said she was mistaken in some of her statements to investigators.
One mistake, she said, was a police report which stated she claimed Lewis planted drugs on her to get her arrested. She said she never meant Lewis planted the drugs, but she was adamant a Carson City deputy did place drugs nearby her once causing her to be arrested.
Digesti also questioned the timing of her allegation.
She said something days later when she was being questioned in relation to a reported burglary, said Digesti.
“It’s true isn’t it … that you were offering that information about Officer Lewis not because you were afraid. The only thing you may have been afraid of was going back to jail. You were trying to offer that information to get out of from underneath any further involvement in this investigation, isn’t that true?” said Digesti.
“I wouldn’t have just made something up just to get out of jail. You’d have to have a pretty good imagination to do that,” she said.
The hearing will continue July 25.