Original Article (Video Available)
By Ann Keil
A former correctional officer is behind bars for allegedly coercing young women to perform sex acts on him by impersonating a police officer and making threats. One of the victims is 16 years old.
Charges against Nicholas Houston include sexual battery, impersonating a public servant, criminal confinement, criminal deviate conduct and intimidation. The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office has asked that Houston’s face not be shown publicly so they can locate other potential victims in the case.
“It’s a terrible tragedy,” said Lt. Chris Bailey with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
According to court documents, Houston picked up the youngest victim near 23rd Street and College Avenue on the northwest side twice where they discussed prices for sex. The first time, she claims he flashed a badge, causing her to jump out of his moving car. She told detectives she did not initially recognize him the second time.
According to court documents, Houston “pulled out a badge, grabbed her by hair, and told her if she tried to run, he would shoot her in the back because he was the police, and he had every reason to shoot her in her back.”
“You may not know what our badge looks like or what a sheriff’s badge looks like, or Speedway, Cumberland or Lawrence,” said Bailey.
Houston was fired from his post as a correctional officer with the Plainfield Short Term Offender Program Facility on Aug. 11. He had been working for a private company called the Geo Group. A company spokesperson said it was a result of the pending case.
“If you have an interaction with who you think is a police officer at an age of 16, her perceptions or fears of law enforcement is probably ruined forever, maybe, and that’s a shame,” said Bailey.
A second victim gave a similar account of an encounter with Houston; her description of the car and driver linked it to the first case. Both women said they were forced to perform sex acts on Houston.
Houston declined a Fox 59 interview.