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Mesquite Detective Fired After Sex Abuse Charge in Utah

Accused of Sexually Abusing a Southern Utah Teen

September 20, 2018 - 5:45 pm
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MESQUITE, Nev. (AP) — A veteran Nevada police detective was fired Wednesday following his arrest last week on charges accusing him of sexually abusing a southern Utah teen he met on a social networking app geared toward gay and bisexual men.

Gary Erickson, who was arrested Sept. 12 in Las Vegas, is awaiting extradition to St. George, Utah, on one count of sexual abuse of a minor, one count of dealing in material harmful to a minor and three counts of sexual exploitation.

Mesquite Police Chief Troy Tanner said in a statement released late Wednesday the completion of an internal affairs investigation has resulted in his termination. The department said earlier in the day he'd been placed on paid administrative leave. He had worked there since 1999.

The St. George Spectrum, citing court documents, reported Erickson arranged a sexual encounter with the 15-year-old boy in an aquatic center locker room in St. George in August.

A St. George police detective was assigned to investigate the incident Aug. 20 after the boy's parents contacted the department, according to a court affidavit filed in Fifth District Court. They indicated he has been sending and receiving nude photographs from an unknown man.

The boy told St. George police he initially represented himself as being 18, the legal age of consent, in personal messages sent to Erickson, the newspaper reported.

It's not clear if Erickson has a lawyer or will be appointed one at a pending court appearance.

Police Sgt. Quinn Averett said in an email to The Associated Press they don't know if he has legal representation. Court records don't list a lawyer.