PAYETTE — A former Fruitland Police Officer could be spending 10 years behind bars after a Friday sentencing hearing.
In front of Payette County Judge Susan Wiebe on Friday, Alexander Scott Plaza, who was born in 1994, was sentenced to a five-year fixed prison sentence, including five years indeterminate for each of his three counts of sexual battery of a minor and one count of sexual abuse of a minor. Those sentences will run concurrently.
Plaza entered a Rule 11 agreement on Jan. 17, changing his plea to guilty for three counts of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508A(1)(b)) and one count of sexual abuse of a minor (I.C. 18-1506). The plea deal means the dismissal of three counts of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508A(1)(b)) and one count of one count of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508AA(1)(a)).
As per the Rule 11 agreement, Plaza will be obtaining a psychosexual evaluation and a pre-sentencing investigation report will be filled. The defense also waived its right to appeal all matters in connection with the case.
Plaza originally pleaded not guilty to his eight charges on Oct. 18 and a jury trial was scheduled to start on Feb. 4.
According to information from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, an investigation into Plaza began in June, when a tip was received by a Payette County law enforcement agency alleging that Plaza had “been in contact with underage boys on social media.”
Washington County officials stated their investigation revealed the cases go back as far as 2017, taking place in Fruitland and in Payette. According to the criminal complaint, Plaza was soliciting up to four different minors in Payette County. Plaza allegedly used multiple social media accounts to contact the youths, including at least Instagram and Snapchat.
Plaza was employed as a Fruitland Police Officer in both a reserve and a full time capacity between April 2015 and June 2019, and resigned from Fruitland Police in June 2019 while he was a reserve officer.
In addition, Plaza was also involved in multiple youth-based organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club in Payette and Ontario School District, where he was terminated in June after working for a few months.