Update: OPD Officer, Wife Arrested

By: Mike McKnight, Gary Smollen Email
By: Mike McKnight, Gary Smollen Email

An Omaha police detective and his wife are being charged with witness tampering and child abuse in a case involving the alleged ongoing sexual assault of a child.

Bill Dawson and his wife Jeanne were arrested in Blair and released on their own recognizance. Their next scheduled court date is in December.

The couple is well known and popular in Blair. He's been an officer in Omaha for 14 years and was a Nebraska State Patrol trooper based out of Blair for the 10 year prior to his move to OPD. Jeanne is an elementary school teacher. That is why so many people can't believe they would knowingly let a child be harmed.

The charges are all laid out in the court documents. It is alleged that both Bill and Jeanne knew about the ongoing sexual assault of a minor and did nothing to stop it. The allegations go further as authorities also believe Bill and Jeanne took an active role in trying to conceal the alleged crime from them by "coaching up" the now 21-year-old suspect.

The investigation conducted by the Nebraska State Patrol led to a 16-year-old girl who, investigators say, told them she had been sexually abused over the last four years. The suspect, identified only by his initials in the court documents, is her brother.

In the affidavits obtained by Channel 6 News, both Bill and Jeanne Dawson deny knowing about the alleged abuse. They also deny there was any cover-up. At this point, there is no attorney of record for either of the Dawsons.

Detective Dawson has been placed on paid administrative leave from OPD. The disposition of Jeanne's job is unknown.

Channel 6 News has also learned that Bill Dawson is a candidate for the local school board. There are 10 candidates and five open spots on the Blair School Board.

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