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Girl Tells Of Abuse By Police Officer

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A suspended Las Vegas police officer is facing a felony child lewdness charge after being accused of groping a family friend’s daughter during tent camping trips.

Police say the officer, 43-year-old Garrett Vandereecken, was arrested Tuesday after the girl reported several groping incidents beginning during a 2008 Memorial Day camping trip with the officer and her parents to Zion National Park in Utah. The girl was 11 at the time.

Vandereecken was later freed on $100,000 bond.

The girl is now 15. Court documents say she told her family about the incidents after taking a school class last year about sexual abuse. Her father initially confronted Vandereeken, then went to police.

Vandereecken had been a police officer since 2008. He is suspended without pay pending the outcome of the case.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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