October 26, 2023

USA: Clearwater Police Officer Arrested For Sexually Assaulting Tourist After Stopping Her For Jaywalking. Told Her To Get Into Vehicle To Make Charges Go Away. Asking Other Victims To Come Forward.


FOX 13 Tampa Bay published October 17, 2023: Clearwater Police Chief Eric Gandy announced an officer was arrested on Tuesday for sexually battering a tourist after stopping her for jaywalking.
10 Tampa Bay published October 17, 2023: Clearwater police chief: Officer arrested for sexually battering woman in patrol car.
10 Tampa Bay published October 19, 2023: Clearwater officer charged with sexual battery officially fired. Until now he had been on administrative leave. Ex-Officer Nicolas Paloma told a woman he could clear charges for her by "doing things for him," the police chief said.

Fox13 News, Florida local
written by Kylie Jones and FOX 13 News Staff
Tuesday October 17, 2023

CLEARWATER, Fla. - A Clearwater police officer was arrested after officials said he stopped a pedestrian and told her he wouldn't cite her for jaywalking or charge her for sexual misconduct in exchange for sexual acts with him.

Nicolas Paloma, 29, an officer with the Clearwater Police Department since 2018, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with sexual battery and false imprisonment, according to Police Chief Eric Gandy.

"I had to check myself before coming in here, because I'm exceptionally upset at the betrayal of trust in the level of confidence that people have in our officers," Chief Gandy said at a press conference Tuesday. "It's exceptionally damaging to our reputation and the reputation of everyone in law enforcement."

Chief Gandy said early Sunday morning, Paloma conducted a pedestrian stop on a 32-year-old woman near the Clearwater Beach roundabout. Investigators said she was visiting Clearwater Beach and is not from the area.

Paloma then told her to get in his car and said he could take her to her hotel, and she could take care of the charges by "doing things for him," according to Chief Gandy.

Paloma then took the victim around various locations on Clearwater Beach for about 30 minutes and engaged in sexual acts with her before dropping her off near her hotel.

Chief Gandy added that Paloma made efforts to hide his location from police. Authorities were made aware of the incident after they responded to a dispute between the victim and a friend, and she divulged shortly thereafter the incident involving Paloma.

"It's intolerable in this profession and certainly in the Clearwater Police Department," Chief Gandy said.

He added that Clearwater police are actively investigating and asking anyone with information on this case or other cases to contact them at 727-562-4385. CPD has also reached out to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) in the event that any other cases involving Officer Paloma come to light.

"We have to proceed in the abundance of caution," Chief Gandy said. "This is a guy who under the cover of law took this action, and we have to be very careful to ensure that we don't have somebody else out there. We just don't know at this juncture."

Paloma has been placed on administrative leave. He has no previous disciplinary history, according to police.

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