Aspiring Las Vegas cop convicted in sexual assault of a minor

A Las Vegas man was convicted Monday of sexual assault of a minor after prosecutors said he maintained a sexual relationship with a teen that lasted for years.

Joshua Honea, 24, faced more than 50 counts, including kidnapping, but was ultimately found guilty on one charge, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. He could face up to life in prison if given the maximum sentence at his hearing next year.

Honea was accused in 2015 of maintaining a four-year sexual relationship with a girl that started when she was 11 years old.

The girl, now 18, recanted her statement on the witness stand and remains unnamed because the alleged relationship took place when she was a minor.

The Review-Journal writes that prior to his arrest, Honea was in a police program for young adults interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. It was during this time that that his colleagues allegedly reopened an investigation into rumors that Honea was involved with a young girl because they believed him to be a whistleblower on the conduct of police officers, the newspaper reported.

Jonathan MacArthur, Honea’s defense attorney, said his client was targeted at the Metropolitan Police Department after he had reported police misconduct.

Honea is due back in court for sentencing on April 16.