By Kelly Mae Ross

Lexington police have charged a man with trying to solicit sex from young women on and around the Washington and Lee University campus.

Jesse Wayne Nieman, 35, of Millboro, Va., was arrested and taken into custody Tuesday. Investigator Cherie Padgett said Nieman is suspected of approaching women in his car as they ran or walked alone and offering to pay them for sex.

Padgett, of the Lexington Police Department, said officers received the first call about such an incident Jan. 13. Later that day, officers received another call about a separate but similar incident.

A Washington and Lee public safety official sent out a mass email to students and university employees telling them to be cautious after the two incidents were reported. Padgett says after the email was sent, more calls came in to the police department to report more incidents that occurred as far back as Dec. 22.

Padgett said she suspects that there are more women who were approached who have not yet come forward.

Nieman is being held in the Rockbridge County Jail on felony and misdemeanor charges. Padgett says additional charges from the city and the county will be filed soon.

Nieman has a history of aggressive behavior toward women, according to court records. He previously served nine years in prison for breaking and entering with the intent to commit rape and for the malicious wounding of a Lexington woman. He was released in 2007.

Nieman will appear in Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court on Thursday. Nieman must appear in the juvenile court because one of the women he approached was a minor.

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