May 13th, Las Vegas Police Officer, Matthew Terry, showed up in court after being accused of multiple counts of lewdness with a child. Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys agree this crime may be difficult to defend against due to the nature of involving minors.
Parents Not Surprised
Parents of children who know Matthew as an assistant coach of a flag football team their sons are on say they are not surprised by the arrest. “He had this element of immaturity…it was kind of out of the ordinary to see a [police officer] rolling around on the floor with a bunch of boys,” said Natalie Mazzullo, one of the moms whose child was on the team.
Mazzullo also stated that after she and other moms noticed Officer Terry’s odd behaviors, they kept their boys away from him as much as they could.
What Led to The Charges?
Matthew Terry was relieved of his duties as a Metropolitan Police Officer after the charges went to court. As per the arrest report, it is stated that the first complaints arose from Matthew’s co-workers at the police department. Some of them had concerns about his inappropriate behavior with the young boys.
Eventually, LVPD handed the case over to the Henderson police department because the alleged crimes had occurred within the Henderson city limits. Soon after, Henderson detailed the allegations from two different boys and reported that Matthew Terry had asked them to shower with him on multiple occasions and touched them in ways that detectives termed “sexually coercive behavior.” He also asked the boys to grab him.
Additionally, boys’ claims include the following: Matthew Terry showing them how to masturbate, watching pornography with them, rubbing their thighs, and trying to cuddle with them while they slept.
Suspect Denies the Charges
Matthew initially denied the allegations but admitted the boys had walked in on him in the shower by accident, and he had also walked in on them in the shower by accident as well.
These were not isolated incidents. There were also allegations dating back to 2017 of disturbing behaviors on Matthew Terry’s part. Authorities had investigated at the time, but they were unable to discover anything mounting to a criminal level. In one instance, a police officer noticed that the boy Matthew Terry was standing with seemed very “shy and didn’t say anything without looking at Matthew first, and Matthew would answer for him.”
At this time, Matthew Terry, who is 27-years-old, faces three counts of lewdness by a person over 18 with a child under the age of 14, two counts of attempted lewdness by a person over 18 with a child under 14, one count of luring a child/mentally ill person with harmful computer material, and six counts of child abuse or neglect.
The Henderson police department says this remains an ongoing investigation. Matthew Terry’s bail was set at $120,000.