Ex-Westminster police officer Wayne Darrell Nelson convicted of sex assault

A former police officer who taught women’s self-defense classes has been convicted by a jury of sexually assaulting two former tenants in his Arvada home.

The Jefferson County jury on Friday returned guilty verdicts on three counts of unlawful sexual contact, a misdemeanor, against Wayne Darrell Nelson, 69. Those counts were related to his interactions with two women, according to a news release issued Monday by the Jefferson County district attorney’s office.

He was acquitted of assaulting a third woman, the office said.

All three women rented rooms in Nelson’s home between April 2018 and December 2020, according to the original charges against him. The district attorney’s office said the former tenants told detectives they were scared to report Nelson’s actions because he was a retired law enforcement officer.

“We honor the victims and survivors that came forward to ensure that Mr. Nelson faced accountability for his actions,” District Attorney Alexis King said in the news release. “Our community is made safer by today’s verdict, and we appreciate the jury’s service.”

Nelson worked for police departments that included Westminster’s, and from 2008 through 2014 he was a criminal investigator for the district attorney’s office. At the time of his arrest last year, he had been teaching women’s self-defense classes and concealed-carry weapons courses, King’s office said.

Nelson’s sentencing hearing is set for Oct. 28.

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