Clearwater Police Officer Charged With Sexual Assault, False Imprisonment

Clearwater Police Department officer stopped a tourist from jaywalking early Sunday morning, then asked for sexual favors from her in exchange for providing her a ride and not citing her as claimed by Authorities.

According to arrest papers, Nicolas Paloma, 29, was on duty at Clearwater Beach when he activated the lights in his unmarked police car and stopped the 32-year-old lady as she crossed the road in the roundabout area at 2:30 a.m. Paloma informed the woman that she was jaywalking and may face disorderly conduct charges.

Paloma then urged the visitor to get inside his car, and she sat in the front passenger seat, said police Chief Eric Gandy during a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

“He told her he would take her to her hotel, and she could take care of the charges by doing things for him,” she claimed. “Officer Paloma even attempted to circumvent our ability to track his vehicle.” Officer Paloma drove the victim about Clearwater Beach for about 30 minutes, engaging in sex activities with her before leaving her off down the street from her hotel.”

Police were summoned to the woman’s hotel shortly after she was left off to check a complaint of two ladies bickering. Gandy said the 32-year-old lady was fighting with a companion when she informed cops what happened.

The chief stated that he was contacted early Sunday morning and that a criminal and administrative inquiry was initiated, as well as the placement of Paloma on leave.

“I’m particularly upset by the betrayal of trust — the level of trust that people have in our officers.” It’s really harmful to our reputation, as well as the reputation of everyone in law enforcement,” Gandy added.

“It undermines trust in our profession, and I know how difficult it is to maintain trust on a personal level.” So having to come here today was aggravating for me because I needed to have this talk. But it is an essential discussion to have.”

Paloma was arrested and put into a Pinellas County prison on Tuesday, according to court documents. He is accused of sexual battery by a law enforcement officer as well as wrongful detention.

According to the organization, Paloma, who has worked with the department since 2018, has no prior disciplinary history. However, they believe Paloma may have done something similar in the past, and they are urging anybody with information on any previous occurrences to contact the Clearwater Police Department at 727-562-4385.

“We have to proceed in an abundance of caution,” he remarked. “This is a guy who did this under the color of law, and we have to be very careful to make sure there isn’t anyone else out there.” We simply don’t know at this point.”

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