Charges dropped against man jailed for impersonating a cop, coercing sex from prostitutes

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Sexual assault, kidnapping, impersonating an officer charges dropped against Jesus Carvajal
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Sexual assault, kidnapping, impersonating an officer charges dropped against Jesus Carvajal

The Clark County District Attorney has dropped all charges against a man arrested in August for allegedly impersonating a police officer in order to coerce sex from prostitutes.

Jesus Carvajal faced three counts of kidnapping, three counts of false impersonation of a public officer, one count each of sexual assault, sexual assault with a deadly weapon, and attempted sexual assault with a deadly weapon.

Carvajal was booked into the Clark County Detention Center on August 9.

The state filed a motion to dismiss the case on October 22. Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Eric Goodman granted the motion the same day.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson has not responded to inquiries from the Current as to why he dropped the charges.

“They had the wrong guy in custody,” private investigator Gavin Vesp told the Current.  “We feel we had compelling evidence to that nature. I don’t know how much the state looked at the evidence we had, you know.  The police officers seemed to put it together rapidly.”

Vesp worked on the case with Carvajal’s defense attorney, Lance J. Hendron.

Carvajal, reached via Facebook, referred the Current to Hendron, who has not returned our calls.

A spokesman for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was unaware charges had been dismissed against Carvajal.

In August, Metro issued a news release stating that beginning in late June, detectives from the Gang/Vice Bureau “received four reports of a male impersonating a police officer… During the course of this investigation, detectives identified 34-year-old Jesus Carvajal as the suspect in these events.”

“The investigation revealed, Carvajal would approach the victims near downtown Las Vegas to participate in sexual acts. If a female got into his vehicle or discussed a price for a sexual act, he would identify himself as an undercover officer. The suspect would then threaten the victims with arrest if they did not perform the sexual acts he requested. Carvajal was described as having a badge, a gun, handcuffs, a knife and a radio,” the news release said.

The FBI has conducted a multi-year investigation that involves allegations of vice detectives engaging in sex with prostitutes.  No local indictments have been issued.

Dana Gentry
Senior Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Any chance of updating this with the truth? Like how it was a case of mistaken identity and this poor man was and is totally innocent? Or how the State of Nevada refuses to expunge the felony charges from his record, so he faces the consequences in every aspect of his life? Maybe another photo of him that is not a mug shot? Look at the confusion in his eyes. The charges were dropped because the only crime he committed was looking kind of like the suspect.

    Given that this is under the heading “Justice” and that you fancy yourself an “Award-winning investigative journalist,” it would be lovely to see both in action.

    We’ll be talking with him on our live show, Sunday March 24, 2019.

    • Hi Melanie, Um, I think we are the only media outlet to report the truth. Perhaps you should direct your ire at those who reported the arrest but not the dropped charges. Thanks!

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