CLEARWATER, Fla. (WSVN) – A Clearwater police officer is facing charges of sexual battery following an alleged assault on a tourist.

The incident unfolded when Nicolas Paloma stopped a woman for jaywalking early Sunday morning. It is reported that he solicited sexual favors from her to avoid a citation.

Clearwater Police Chief Eric Gandy addressed the arrest in a news conference on Tuesday.

“It erodes the confidence in our profession, and on a personal level, I know how hard we struggle to maintain trust. So for me, having to come here today was infuriating,” Chief Gandy said.

In response to the allegations, Paloma has been immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. Authorities are also examining whether there may be additional victims in similar cases.

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