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Man Sentenced for Impersonating Officer, Fondling Teens

Man Sentenced for Impersonating Officer, Fondling Teens



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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- A man who fondled two teenage girls after telling them he had to search them for drugs has been sentenced to 365 days in jail for impersonating a police officer and sexual battery.

Travis Spencer Newell, 24, was sentenced Thursday on two Class A misdemeanor counts of sexual battery and a Class B misdemeanor count of impersonating an officer. The sexual battery charges had been reduced from felony sexual assault charges.

Shortly after being released from jail in October for a similar impersonation, Newell, approached the 14- and 16-year-old girls in Provo. He told them he was an undercover police officer, and he needed to frisk them for drugs. Newell then fondled the teens.

Judge Claudia Laycock ordered the man to serve two concurrent one-year jail terms for the two sexual battery counts and 180 days for the police impersonation count. She gave Newell credit for 180 days already served since his arrest in October.

Deputy Utah County Deputy Prosecutor David Sturgill said Newell may be out of jail as soon as August or September.

However, Sturgill said Newell also violated the terms of parole for a prior offense, a matter that still has to be resolved in court.

In May 2004, Newell was arrested and charged with impersonating a police officer in Orem and was sentenced to six months in jail. In an incident in Ogden in 1999, he was charged with impersonating an officer and aggravated assault.

The mother of one of the girls said she plans to file a complaint with superiors of a police officer she said made an inappropriate remark as the family was filing the police report.

"He said, 'You're a pretty girl, you'd better get used to it,"' the girl said.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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