ONTARIO — Local entities have responded following the discovery that a local man is now facing multiple sex-related felonies involving minors.
Alexander Scott Plaza, who was born in 1994, was arraigned on Tuesday on six counts of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508(1)(b): soliciting participation of a minor child 16-17 years of age), one count of sexual battery of a minor (I.C. 18-1508A(1)(a): defined as lewd or lascivious acts) and one count of sexual abuse of a minor under 16 years of age (I.C. 18-1506).
Plaza is currently being held in Washington County Jail on a $500,000 bond. His next court date will be a status conference on Sept. 16, followed by a preliminary hearing on Sept. 17.
Plaza allegedly used multiple social media accounts to contact the youths, these included “at least Instagram and Snapchat,” he said.
Currently, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office believes the alleged crimes go as far back as 2017 and took place in either Fruitland or Payette.
Plaza was previously a member of the Fruitland Police Department, in both a reserve and full time police officer, between April 2015 and June 2019. According to Fruitland Police Chief JD Huff, Plaza resigned from Fruitland Police on June 2019 which he was a reserve officer.
On top of working as a police officer, Plaza was also involved in multiple youth-based organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club and Ontario School District.
According to a Thursday news release from Matt Frye, Board President of the Boys & Girls Club of Western Treasure Valley, Plaza “briefly” worked at the Payette site.
The release states that the Boys & Girls Club learned of the possible allegations against Plaza in June and “acted immediately by terminating his employment.”
“… no harm should come to any child and our hearts go out to any victims and their families,” the release reads. “We are both shocked and saddened by these allegations and are cooperating fully with the authorities involved in the investigation of this very serious matter.”
According to a news release from Ontario School District, Plaza worked for Ontario School District at the end of the 2018-19 school year “for a few months.” He is no longer employed by Ontario School District.
Neither the club or the district explained what capacity Plaza worked in while employed for them.
“The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has indicated that no students, past or present, from Ontario School District were involved in this current investigation of Alexander Scott Plaza,” the release reads. “Behavior of this nature is never tolerated, and it is not permitted in our schools. All of our OSD staff and volunteers are subject to drug and background tests prior to their hire or permission in facilities,” the release reads. “Staff and volunteers are thoroughly vetted and processed to make sure there were no prior indications of these kinds of inappropriate behaviors. Unfortunately, we cannot predict human behavior. Because of this, we have plans and systems in place to ensure that persons under this type of investigation are removed from schools and students. Our first priority is the safety and welfare of our students. We are taking steps to ensure that is the case here. OSD has and is fully cooperating with the investigation of this matter.”