EXCLUSIVE: Maui cop charged for flashing; wife says he had a 'mental breakdown'

Published: Sep. 22, 2015 at 2:53 AM HST|Updated: Sep. 22, 2015 at 3:04 AM HST
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John and Denise Salomon
John and Denise Salomon
John and Denise Salomon
John and Denise Salomon
John and Denise Salomon
John and Denise Salomon

PUKALANI, MAUI (HAWAIINEWSNOW) - A Maui police officer accused of exposing himself to women and children and masturbating in front of them earlier this year has been charged with nine counts of sexual assault in the fourth degree.

For the first time, John Salomon's his wife talks to the media about what might have ticked him off. She said her husband had a mental breakdown. Although she can't explain why, she said he is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) because of his job.

Denise Salomon said her husband, John, has been through a lot and has seen a lot in his short three years as a Maui police officer, which might have led to his bizarre behavior back in May. She said John was one of the first ones on scene of the Lanai plane crash that killed three people in 2014.

"He was the very first one at the plane crash, watching the survivors, looking at the survivors, looking at the very survivor that pulled the two men out, hearing women scream in the plane, trying to get help, just knowing…if I got here sooner, could I have helped," Denise said.

She said since then, she has watched her husband go into what she called a downward spiral.

A victim in the May case, who Hawaii News Now is keeping anonymous as we always do with potential sex assault victims, said he and his family are slowly recovering from what they saw.

"Even like weeks afterward, I couldn't go to Foodland without the kids asking me, 'Oh dad, that's where the bad man was. Is that man gonna be there again today?" said the victim.

"I had to constantly reassure them, no he's not there, he's in jail, locked up, you guys are safe. Just constantly reassuring my children they're actually OK going to the swimming pool or just going to the store," he said.

Denise said her husband never got the help that he needed, he was working 16-hour days, sleeping only three hours a night, and she wishes the public had more empathy.

"He has yet to walk into a store, to walk into public because of shame, because of public scrutiny. He feels like a prisoner on his own island, where he grew up, where you think people would be more supportive. And we feel like we're being driven out of the island, maybe even out of the state," she said.

"He's the best husband anyone can ask for. He is the type of daddy who would drop everything. And as a police officer...that was his dream job. He wanted to serve his community where he grew up and he feels like the community has turned their backs on him."

Salomon arraignment is set for October 1st.

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