Visalia officer charged for alleged sex crimes at Elks Lodge

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- Visalia Police Officer Scott Nelson has been charged with three misdemeanors-two counts of sexual battery and one count of battery for an alleged incident at the Visalia Elks Lodge in August of last year.

According to a Visalia Police internal affairs report obtained by Action News, a woman told police that Nelson, a 22-year veteran of the department, harassed and groped her at the members-only bar inside the lodge.

She and Nelson were active members of the lodge at the time.

The woman told police she thought Nelson inappropriately touched her at least five times over a two hour period-at one point grabbing her breasts.

A criminal investigation into what happened that night started this April, which included a review of surveillance video from inside the lodge.

In his report, the Visalia Police sergeant assigned to the case wrote about his first conversation with the alleged victim.

"She explained to me that she made the complaint because she felt that after she made the initial complaint to the Elks Lodge about his behavior that night, that it had not been handled appropriately," the sergeant wrote.

Nelson had reportedly been suspended from the lodge for 30 days.

Police say they struggled to get the victim to cooperate with a criminal investigation, so submitted the case to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office.

This week, prosecutors filed the three criminal charges against Nelson, and his department placed him on administrative leave.

Action News tried reaching Nelson on Thursday but haven't heard back yet.

He is scheduled to make his first court appearance on September 30th.
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