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Nebraska State Patrol investigators have gotten a judge's permission to send a former Lincoln police officer's cellphone to a forensic software company that has technology to bypass its lock so they can search for evidence.

The request came in one of four search warrants filed this week in Lancaster County District Court and approved by District Judge Robert Otte.

In it, Patrol Investigator Neal Trantham said Gregory Cody's iPhone will be shipped to Cellebrite for analysis because the State Patrol's lab doesn't have the hardware and software available to defeat the phone's ability to permanently disable itself.

Cody, 55, retired from the Lincoln Police Department on Oct. 20.

On Nov. 18, he was arrested and later charged with first-degree sexual assault of a person mentally or physically incapable of resisting, involving a woman he met on a police call.

In a nine-page affidavit, a State Patrol investigator said Cody's accuser, a 30-year-old Lincoln woman, described more than a year's worth of interactions with Cody, including about 50 incidents of sexual encounters that she described as forced, most of which occurred while he was on duty.

She said she felt coerced because Cody didn't take her into emergency protective custody, but she feared he still could, which would jeopardize her ability to keep her kids.

Trantham said phone records have shown more than 80 phone calls and 30 texts between Cody's cellphone and the woman's number between March and October of last year.

But, he said, investigators also want to look at direct messages, because Cody's accuser said he once helped her get out of a speeding ticket, by intervening with another officer, and as "payment" she sent him nude images of herself over Facebook Messenger.

She said Cody also sent her pictures of his genitalia.

At the advice of his attorney, Cody did not consent to a search of his phone.

In another of the search warrants, Trantham sought copies of Lincoln police internal affairs files, as well as time sheets for June, July and October and records for the mobile data terminal computer assigned to his police vehicle.

He said during the course of the investigation members of the public also have come forward with information they think may be relevant to the case.

It led to investigators contacting four female minors with a history of mental health or behavioral issues. All denied any sexual contact with Cody, but said Cody would stop by their homes unannounced, bring them gifts, take them out to dinner and have conversations with them on Facebook Messenger, Trantham said.

He said Cody held himself out as a mentor, but investigators described some of the direct messages as "inconsistent with appropriate mentoring methods" and "flirtatious in nature."

Trantham said a nurse at a Lincoln hospital where Cody worked as an off-duty officer also told investigators that Cody, without her knowledge, completed an online driver safety program for her, then sent a direct message on Facebook saying she owed him.

Cody hasn't been given a trial date yet and is out of jail on bond.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or lpilger@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSpilger.

Reporter

Lori Pilger is a public safety reporter.

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