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Man faces felony for alleged groping incident

A Boulder City resident is facing a felony charge for allegedly groping a disabled person during a car ride.

According to the criminal complaint, filed in Henderson Justice Court, Donald Shapiro, 65, was given a ride home after a church function in December and allegedly groped the genitalia of a disabled 23-year-old man over his pants. Shapiro is being charged with one count of open and gross lewdness upon a vulnerable person.

He was arrested at home Aug. 17 and taken to the Clark County Detention Center, where he remains.

According to the incident report, Boulder City police were notified in March by attorney Jeremy Miller, who was hired to represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the matter. He said Shapiro did not currently have contact with the alleged victim and when the church found out about it, leaders assigned a chaperone to Shapiro for events at which he and the victim were present.

Miller also said the incident was isolated and there had been no other reports of this type of behavior between Shapiro and the victim or others. Additionally, he said Shapiro “adamantly denied that the incident had ever occurred.”

Boulder City Detective Brett Wibrew contacted Shapiro, who agreed to speak with him, according to the report. When asked about the alleged incident, Shapiro told Wibrew his bishop had told him about the victim saying he had done something inappropriate to him.

Shapiro said that he told the bishop what he thought had happened and that he “didn’t think he did anything wrong.” Shapiro said he had given the victim a “smooch and a hug.” The smooch was “maybe on his (the victim’s) lips.”

Shapiro said he didn’t know why he had done that.

“I can’t remember the circumstances, but I guess whatever transpired, that’s what I had done to him,” he said according to the report.

According to Wibrew’s narrative, the case was forwarded to the Clark County District Attorney’s office because although Shapiro denied the allegations, he did admit to kissing the victim on the lips.

The charge was originally brought to Boulder City Justice Court, but Judge Victor Miller transferred it to Henderson on June 17 because of a conflict of interest.

Shapiro’s bail was set at $10,000, and his next court appearance is at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8.. It will be in Department 3 at Henderson Justice Court, 243 S. Water St

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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