A shocking incident involving a Clearwater police officer has rocked the community, leading to his arrest on charges of sexual battery and false imprisonment.
Nicolas Paloma, a 29-year-old officer with the Clearwater Police Department since 2018, was taken into custody on Tuesday following allegations of grave misconduct that have left both
authorities and the community in disbelief.
Police Chief Eric Gandy expressed his deep disappointment at a press conference, stating, “I had to check myself before coming in here because I’m exceptionally upset at the betrayal of trust and the level of confidence that people have in our officers. It’s exceptionally damaging to our reputation and the reputation of everyone in law enforcement.”
The disturbing incident took place in the early hours of a Sunday morning when Paloma conducted a pedestrian stop on a 32-year-old woman visiting Clearwater Beach who was not from the area.
In a shocking abuse of power, Paloma allegedly told her that he would not cite her for jaywalking or charge her with any wrongdoing in exchange for sexual acts.
Clearwater Horrific Encounter
Paloma then coerced the victim into his car, promising to take her to her hotel and resolve the charges by doing things for him.
The ordeal lasted for about 30 minutes as Paloma drove the victim to various locations on Clearwater Beach, where he engaged in sexual acts with her before dropping her off near her hotel.
The incident came to light after a dispute between the victim and a friend, during which she disclosed the horrific encounter involving Paloma. Chief Gandy emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, “It’s intolerable in this profession and certainly in the Clearwater Police Department.”
The Clearwater Police Department is actively investigating the case and has urged anyone with information about this incident or others involving Officer Paloma to contact them. They have also reached out to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to address any potential further cases.
In response to the allegations, Paloma has been placed on administrative leave. Notably, he had no previous disciplinary history, making this incident all the more shocking and concerning for the department and the community it serves.