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Former Hurricane police officer gets jail term for demanding sex

Published: Sunday, Aug. 16 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Nathan Amosa, a former Hurricane police officer, was sentenced to 60 days in jail Wednesday after prosecutors say he demanded sex from a woman he had threatened to cite for child neglect while he was on duty.

In a compromise plea bargain, Amosa, 25, pleaded no contest in June to a charge of custodial sexual relations, a third-degree felony.

Fifth District Judge James Shumate on Wednesday sentenced Amosa to zero to five years in prison but suspended the prison term. The judge put Amosa on probation for 36 months, ordered him to get a psychosexual exam and to undergo any recommended treatment — in addition to the jail time.

However, under this law, Amosa will not have to register as a sex offender.

Prosecutor Ryan Shaum said the custodial sexual relations law is directed at individuals who work in any capacity in law enforcement. It forbids sexual activity with any person who is in a "custodial situation," which could mean someone who is under arrest, on probation, in a drug court program or in jail.

In this particular case, police in 2008 got a call about a missing child and went to the woman's home. The child had wandered away.

"The woman alleged that she felt like she was going to be cited (for child neglect), or potentially be cited, or have her child taken away," Shaum said.

Sexual activity did occur, according to evidence presented at Amosa's preliminary hearing, and the woman was not cited for anything. The woman said in charging documents that she felt she had to do what Amosa demanded because he was "in uniform and had a gun."

Court documents say Amosa told the woman to perform oral sex and he fondled her.

Amosa later resigned from the police department.

Shaum said that in a highly technical sense, this woman was not in a "custodial situation" as defined by the law. However, this charge for plea bargain purposes was one that both sides could agree on.

Amosa originally was charged with forcible sodomy, a first-degree felony, and two counts of forcible sex abuse, both second-degree felonies. Under the plea bargain, the first charge was amended and the others dismissed.

e-mail: lindat@desnews.com

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