Nevada police officer accused of exploitation of St. George boy

Photo: Gephardt Daily/Patrick Benedict

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Sept. 19, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A Nevada police officer is facing charges including three felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, in a case involving a St. George teen.

St. George Police Department said in a news release the suspect has been identified as Gary Erickson of Bunkerville, Nevada, and investigators subsequently learned Erickson is employed as a police officer with the Mesquite, Nevada Police Department.

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant for the charges of three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of dealing harmful material to a minor and one count of sexual abuse of a minor.

The news release said: “In August 2018, the St. George Police Department received information regarding an alleged sex offense that occurred in St. George. The incident allegedly involved an adult male and juvenile male.”

The allegations were looked into by the SGPD investigations unit.

“The investigation produced evidence that the adult and juvenile male participated in consensual sexual activities in St. George,” the news release goes on. “There was evidence the two had been communicating on various social media sites for several months. It was alleged sexually explicit photographs were exchanged during that time. Due to the age difference of the suspect and the juvenile; sexual activity between them, even if it is consensual is unlawful. Any exchange of sexually graphic images is also unlawful.”

On Sept. 12, Erickson was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada. Investigators from the St. George Police Department received cooperation and assistance from Homeland Security Investigations and the Las Vegas Metro Police Department.

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Their investigation is still active.

Officials with the Mesquite Police Department said Erickson has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the internal and criminal investigation. Erickson is currently assigned to the Mesquite Police Investigations division and has worked for the department since 1999.

“Due to the pending investigations, representatives from the Mesquite Police Department cannot comment further on the case,” said a statement from the department.

Gephardt Daily will have more on this developing story as information becomes available.

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