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Metro Phoenix police officer pleads not guilty to sex assaults

PHOENIX -- A Mesa police officer accused of sexually assaulting female suspects while they were in custody pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Justin Cherry entered the plea Thursday morning in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix.

A grand jury indicted Cherry last week on two counts of sexual assault and one count of molestation.

Police said allegations of officer misconduct by Cherry were initially reported in August 2013. Three victims accuse Cherry of touching them during searches.

A 13-year veteran of the Mesa police, Cherry has been on administrative leave since the start of the investigation.

He turned himself into police Friday.

His next court appearance was scheduled for Sept. 19.

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