Handcuffs

FRUITLAND — A Fruitland police officer has been charged with eight sex crimes officials say were committed against teenage boys over the span of nearly two years.

Alexander Plaza, 25, made his initial appearance in court in Payette County Tuesday, according to court records. He was taken into custody Friday after a nearly three-month investigation, according to Det. Sgt. Aaron Walker of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Plaza worked as a reserve officer for the Fruitland Police Department from April 2015 until November, according to a news release from the Fruitland Police Department. From November until February, he worked as a full-time officer, but was placed back on reserve after he failed to meet the department's fitness requirements. When he resigned in June, he was still serving the department in that capacity, according to the release.

The Fruitland Police Department was made aware of the complaints against Plaza in June, Walker said, and the department asked the Washington County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the case, so as to avoid a conflict of interest.

Canyon County prosecutors are handling the case, according to court documents.

The criminal complaint filed against him identifies the case’s victims only by initials, but appears to list four separate juveniles, at least three of which are boys. Three of the victims are aged 16 or 17 years old, and a fourth is 15 years old, according to the complaint.

Prosecutors claim between October 2017 and this June, Plaza either asked the boys for intimate pictures or tried to get them to participate in sexual contact with him. He’s also charged with sexually abusing the 15-year-old victim, and committing lewd acts with a 17-year-old.

On Tuesday, a judge set his bond at $500,000. He is next scheduled to appear in court Sept. 16.