A former Manhattan Beach police sergeant has been found guilty of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in Las Vegas.
Shawn Michael Shelton, 40, once the fastest-rising officer in his department, could face the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison following the Clark County District Court jury’s decision, reached Friday night after two hours of deliberations.
Following two days of testimony, jurors concluded that Shelton was guilty of first-degree kidnapping, sexual assault with a minor under 16 years old, battery with intent to commit sexual assault with a minor under 16 years old, and use of a minor in pornography, court information officer Michael Sommermeyer said.
Jurors acquitted Shelton of one count of robbery. A charge of transmission of the AIDS virus previously was dropped. Shelton is HIV positive.
The guilty verdicts came after jurors listened to the boy, now 15, describe how he was sitting at a bus bench outside a mall May 21, 2006 , when Shelton pulled up, displayed a badge and told him he was a police officer. He persuaded the boy to get into his Hummer.
The boy told jurors that Shelton said he was investigating a homicide, handcuffed him, drove him into the desert and forced him to perform oral sex in the back seat, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
During his testimony, the boy described the .50-caliber bullet hanging on Shelton’s key chain and the brand of cigarettes Shelton smoked. Police found the cigarettes in Shelton’s Hummer when they arrested him May 26 in Corona, the newspaper reported. Besides the identification, prosecutors had key forensic evidence to pin the crime on Shelton, who had been an experienced detective. Following the oral sex, the boy wiped his mouth with his T-shirt. The act absorbed Shelton’s DNA into the cloth, the newspaper said.