Crime

Ex-Fruitland police officer accused of 8 sex crimes involving children, remains in jail

What is sexual violence?

Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.
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Sexual violence is a social and public health problem in the U.S. The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey says nearly 1 in 2 women and 1 in 5 men experienced sexual violence victimization other than rape at some point in their lives.

A former Fruitland Police officer remains in jail after being charged with eight felony sex crimes for accusations of the sexual abuse of multiple juveniles.

Alexander Plaza, 25, was charged last week in Payette County and he is being held in the Washington County jail on a $500,000 bond. The criminal complaint cites at least four alleged victims, ranging in age from 15 to 17.

The alleged sexual abuse happened between October 2017 and June of 2019. On at least one occasion he solicited a 16 or 17-year-old to engage in sexual activity, according to a copy of his criminal complaint. Plaza is also accused of asking the child to send him pictures of his genitalia and on at least one occasion he made a recording of a juvenile’s genitalia.

The criminal complaint alleges that in 2018, Plaza did sexually abuse a 17-year-old.

Plaza is charged on suspicion of six counts of soliciting a child, ages 16 or 17, to participate in sexual battery, one count of sexual abuse of a child younger than age 16, and one count of sexual battery by lewd conduct with a child ages 16 or 17.

If convicted, Plaza could face a life sentence.

Fruitland Police Chief J.D. Huff confirmed in a news release that Plaza was an officer with his department but he resigned in June.

“In regard to the arrest of Alexander Plaza, he served as a Fruitland reserve police officer from April 2015 to November 2018,” Huff said in the news release. “Plaza served in full-time police officer capacity for approximately three months from November 1, 2018, to February 4, 2019, when he was placed back into a reserve officer status as he was unable to meet the minimum fitness standards.”

At the time of his resignation in June, he was serving in a reserve officer capacity.

The Canyon County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office filed the charges against Plaza, serving as a special prosecutor for Payette County.

Plaza’s next court date is set for Sept. 16 in Payette County.

Need help?

The Faces of Hope Victim Center is available for victims in need of emergency services at 417 S. 6th St. in Boise. Victims should call 911 in emergencies or call 208-577-4400 on weekdays during business hours. Faces of Hope provides free medical care and forensic examinations for victims, as well as assistance with filing police reports and mental health care.

Survivors who may need help are also encouraged to contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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Reporter Ruth Brown covers the criminal justice and correctional systems in Idaho. She focuses on breaking news, public safety and social justice. Prior to coming to the Idaho Statesman, she was a reporter at the Idaho Press-Tribune, the Bakersfield Californian and the Idaho Falls Post Register.
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