A Cleveland police officer, who was arrested after urinating on a 12-year-old girl for refusing his offer for a ride during an attempt to abduct her, has pleaded guilty to the charges.
According to Cleveland.com, Solomon Nhiwatiwa pleaded guilty to charges of attempted kidnapping, pandering obscenity, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and endangering children. He faces up to 7 ½ years in prison.
Charges of assault, interfering with custody and public indecency were, however, dropped after he reached the guilty plea with prosecutors. In addition to serving prison time, the 34-year-old, who can no longer serve on the police force will also have to register as a sex offender for the next 15 years.
According to prosecutors, the incident occurred on August 16 when the juvenile was waiting for her school bus to pick her up. Nhiwatiwa, who was off-duty at the time and was driving, pulled up to the girl and offered her a ride to school which she declined, Clevelend.com reports. After initially driving off, Nhiwatiwa reportedly came back and urinated on the juvenile while recording the incident on his mobile phone.
Nhiwatiwa’s involvement in the crime was further corroborated after a report of a suspicious individual looking into vehicles in the neighborhood was made by a resident just around the time the victim’s mother called 911 to report the incident. The culprit in both incidents, according to prosecutors, was Nhiwatiwa as the urine samples taken from the girl’s clothes matched his DNA.
Videos, photos and applications from his phone can, however, not be accessed by investigators due to a security code after it was confiscated.
Satisfied with the plea deal, Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley said: “He’s now been held accountable, he’s going to be sentenced to prison.”
“My best wishes for that young child in the future as she goes on with her life.”
A five-year veteran, this isn’t the first time Nhiwatiwa has had run-ins with the law. He faced disciplinary action on four different occasions during his time with the Cleveland police, Cleveland.com further reports. He was also involved in a fatal shooting incident in 2012 prior to joining the force. He was a security guard at the time of that incident.
Describing Nhiwatiwa as a “clearly a sick individual” for his unprovoked attack on the juvenile, O’Malley was left in a limbo as to how he was able to pass psychological testing during screening for recruitment.
“You wonder how this individual slid through the cracks,” he said. “Hopefully we can improve the testing in law enforcement so that individuals like this never put a badge on again.”
Nhiwatiwa, who has been in custody since his arrest on a $300,000 bond, is set to be sentenced on January 21.
“It’s just something that shocks the conscious when you read it,” O’Malley told News 5 Cleveland after the plea hearing on Monday. “You think to yourself how could any human being, let alone a law enforcement officer engage in that type of activity, but he did.”
“This individual will no longer be driving around the city of Cleveland in a police car and that’s a good thing,” he added.