Former LPD officer charged with sexual assault makes initial court appearance

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LINCOLN, Neb. - Investigators with the Nebraska State Patrol have arrested former Lincoln Police Officer Gregory S. Cody, 54, on suspicion of first-degree sexual assault.

Online court records list he is facing a charge of 1st degree Sexual Assault Aggravated Offense. That charge includes a penalty of lifetime community supervision by the Office of Parole Administration, 1-50 years in prison and registering as a sex offender.

In the criminal complaint, the charge stated that it was done without consent of the victim or Cody should have known the victim "was mentally or physically incapable of resisting or appraising the nature of his or her conduct."

Cody made his initial court appearance on Thursday afternoon. The judge granted Cody bond at 10 percent of $150,000. Court records show that bond was paid.

He will be due back in court on Dec. 7.

The city attorney's office said on Thursday that even if convicted, Cody will still receive his pension, getting nearly $2,000 a month.

Cody's arrest follows an investigation stemming from a report made by the victim to a health care professional at Bryan West Hospital.

The hospital reported the assault to the Nebraska State Patrol on October 17.

Cody was hired by LPD in August of 1990, and was a 27-year veteran of the force. The most recent published annual report stated Cody was previously assigned to the southeast team in Lincoln.

Cody's employment with the Lincoln Police Department ended on Friday, October 20.

LPD announced on Oct. 23 the department had launched an internal investigation into sexual assault allegations against an officer, and that NSP was handling the criminal investigation.

According to Lincoln Police Chief Jeff Bliemeister, the incident was reported to have begun with a prior contact in an official capacity.

Court records show Cody released the victim from custody, and did not take her into Emergency Protective Custody (EPC) following a situation in July of 2016. Officer Cody used this encounter to "assert his will over her" in the future, according to records.

"She stated that Officer Cody told her that she was "pretty" and that she would "owe him" for not taking her into Emergency Protective Custody during the 2016 incident previously described," the affidavit states.

Affadavit

The victim was then friended by Officer Cody on Facebook, in order to keep their conversations private from his wife.

According to the probable cause affidavit, LPD responded to the area of 70th and Pioneers in Lincoln on Oct. 17 on a report of a female laying on the sidewalk.

The victim, who is in her 30's, was visibly intoxicated and complained that she fell from the backstop at a nearby baseball field, the court records show.

She was transported to a Lincoln hospital with minor injures, but was kept for observation.

The victim proceeded to tell a mental health specialist that she was being abused, physically and sexually, by a police officer.

Later on Oct. 17, Cody, who was on-duty and familiar with hospital security, entered the intensive care unit, without authorization, and contacted the victim.

This led to agitated behavior by the victim.

Hospital staff alerted authorities, and the victim eventually told police Cody initiated sexual contact with her approximately 65 times, 90 percent of which occurred when he was on duty, the court records show.

One of the instances the victim described took place in the Lincoln Children's Zoo parking lot on Oct. 15, 2017.

The affidavit said Cody was on-duty, and became sexually aggressive
while the victim was trying to resist.

The affidavit also states the victim had previously told nine friends and associates of the situation, four of which knew the person responsible was a police officer.

The sexual encounters began roughly a year ago, after Cody did not take the victim into Emergency Protective Custody, the affidavit states.

The records state the victim told police "if she did not go along with what he wanted, he would just be more forceful in their next encounter."

The affidavit stated the victim did not report the incidents because she was fearful her mental health status would interfere with custody of her children.

The Lincoln Police Department said on Nov. 1 a second officer resigned in the midst of the sexual assault investigation.

“We identified a second officer who violated the Lincoln Police Department’s general orders and code of ethics,” Bleimiester said. “This officer was not a part of the original complaint received by the Nebraska State Patrol, and there are no allegations of criminal wrongdoing.”

Anyone with additional information about this or other potential cases is asked to report that to the Nebraska Information Analysis Center (NIAC). Contact the NIAC via email at NEfusioncenter@nebraska.gov or by phone at 402-479-4049.

Online court records do not list an attorney or an initial court appearance for Cody.