Women testify against probation officer
Five women who claimed they were molested by a Carson City probation officer testified in a preliminary hearing Thursday.
Aaron Lewis, a former alternative sentencing officer, is charged with multiple counts of abuse of authority and lewdness.
Melissa Mulder, 20, the first woman to come forward with allegations against Lewis, testified of two incidents in which Lewis allegedly forced her to bare her breast and genitals under threat of arrest.
While the Nevada Appeal does not identify alleged victims of sexual abuse, Mulder is the complainant in a civil lawsuit against Lewis seeking monetary damages from him and the city for Lewis’ alleged misconduct.
Mulder said Thursday in court that Lewis visited her home late in the evening on Sept. 6 and took her to the Carson City Courthouse to administer a drug test.
An admitted heroin user, Mulder said she knew the test would come out positive for drug use.
After taking her upstairs in the vacant building, she said, Lewis allegedly watched her urinate in a cup. Then, she said, he allegedly took her into his empty office.
There, she testified Lewis made her take off her top and unzip her pants.
The second incident, said Mulder, happened two days later when Lewis allegedly called her to meet him outside in his vehicle.
When she got into the unmarked DAS unit, Mulder said, Lewis allegedly badgered her again about concealing drugs or clean urine. She testified that she exposed her genitals and breasts at that time at Lewis’ insistence.
She said when she went back into her house, she told her mother and her mother called police.
On cross examination by Lewis’ defense attorney Larry Digesti, Mulder admitted she worked as a stripper at one time.
She told Digesti that she wasn’t seeking money from Lewis.
“No, I don’t want money. I do want justice,” said Mulder, who also admitted to knowing four of the other victims in the case.
The second alleged victim, 22, said she met Lewis one night in June when he came with two other officers in search of her boyfriend who had a warrant. While the girl kept police occupied at the door, she said, her boyfriend escaped out of her second-story bedroom window.
“Aaron Lewis said that if I cooperated with helping him get (my boyfriend) he would help me not be arrested and go to jail,” she said. “I agreed to what he said and he spoke to the other officers and letting them know I was going to be cooperative and help … and they decided to cite me, gave me a ticket for obstructing justice and I was uncuffed.”
The woman said Lewis walked her up to her apartment, and to her bedroom door, which had a key lock, was shut and her keys were inside. Lewis allegedly pulled out a kit and picked the door lock allowing then to enter the room.
The woman said Lewis patted her down, and when he felt her navel piercing he told her he needed to see it.
“And I said, ‘Well I’m not wearing any undergarments, and he said ‘Well I still need to see it. I said ‘Can I just put something on real quick to show you that it’s just a navel ring. And he said ‘No. I don’t want any funny business I need to see what it is and I need to see it now. If you want to be cooperative than I need to see it,'” she said.
She said she was upset and cussed repeating that she wasn’t wearing underwear, but then lifted the bottom of her dress waist high to show her navel ring and that Lewis touched her genitals.
“He said that if I said anything that I’m wasting my time. He’s been an officer of the law for many years, he is the law, and that nobody is going to believe me,” she said.
On cross from Digesti, the defense attorney noted that the woman had spent the day in the sun at Lake Tahoe drinking 100-proof alcohol and smoking marijuana.
A third women detailed how Lewis allegedly came to her home and took her outside. There he asked her if she was hiding anything and she took off her bra and lifted her shirt. She said Lewis allegedly reached out and grabbed her left breast. When he repeatedly asked her about if she was hiding anything in her pants, she said, she pulled them down.
“He spread my legs, I turned toward him and he peeked,” she said.
When Lewis allegedly asked what she was going to do to avoid going to jail, she said she jokingly said, “What (oral sex)?”
She said Lewis did not respond.
A 21-year-old woman, currently in custody in the jail and awaiting a bed at a rehab center for heroin addiction, testified that Lewis allegedly looked down her pants and watched her urinate while her mother, mother’s boyfriend and grandfather were in the other room. She said Lewis never touched her and the incident lasted only minutes.
The final witness of the day was a 19-year-old woman who claimed she ran into Lewis at the home of a man on parole that police had come to. She said that when the two were outside of the sight of everyone else, Lewis coerced her into exposing her breasts.
Digesti pointed out that when she was asked to describe the officer that did that to her, she said he had brown hair. Lewis is bald.
Testimony resumes this morning.