LARGO, Fla. (WFLA) — Clearwater Officer Nicolas Paloma is out on bail after detectives said he sexually battered a woman while on-duty.
Investigators said Paloma stopped a female tourist for jaywalking on Clearwater Beach.
They said he told her he wouldn’t cite or charge her in return for sexual favors, and then sexually assaulted her.
Paloma’s neighbor Savannah Alldaffer couldn’t believe it.
“I looked out the window and there were probably 10 cops outside, and I thought it was for some of the other neighbors,” she said. “When he walked out of his house and ended up being the one being arrested and they swarmed him, I was really caught off guard.”
“It was very out of character because I’ve talked to him a handful of times, and I never pegged him as someone who would not only put their job at risk, but use that kind of power,” she continued.
We reached out to the State Attorney’s Office. They had no comment due to the active case, but Criminal Defense Attorney Roger Futerman told 8 On Your Side he is formally representing Paloma and provided the following statement:
So, how can someone bond out of jail before seeing the inside of a courtroom?
We caught up with Criminal Defense Attorney Bryant Camereno—who is not affiliated with this case—to get answers.
“It’s not unusual to get a bond when you’re first arrested, but it all depends on the circumstances,” he said. “One example would be if law enforcement sees you committing a crime, then they can arrest you.”
“They have probable cause to arrest you if they saw you commit the crime,” he continued. “Depending on the nature of the crime, there’s a bond schedule that says ‘alright for this type of crime bond, it will be this much,’ so law enforcement would write in that amount.”
“When they’re booked, they can just bond out before going through first appearance,” he explained.
But Camareno said it depends not only on the charges at hand, but the evidence.
“I am a little surprised though that there was a bond amount,” he said. “Typically for a crime that serious, it’s been my experience the judge will sign a warrant, but zero bond, so that the first appearance judge can make the determination whether or not to grant a bond and for how much.”
Paloma is on administrative leave as the investigation plays out.