A former California police officer has been charged with more than a dozen counts of sexual assault and other crimes following an internal affairs investigation at the Stockton Police Department.
Former Stockton Police Sergeant Nicholas Bloed was arrested and charged with 15 counts of assault while serving as an officer, forcible oral copulation, bribery, and prostitution on Wednesday morning. The charges were filed in the Superior Court of California by the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office.
“Officers have the ability to take your liberty, and when they threaten to use that power to force vulnerable victims to cooperate for their own devious purposes, it castes a long shadow over the entire profession,” said Tori Verber Salazar, the county’s district attorney, in a statement Thursday.
Bloed was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on Thursday. His next court date is set for Monday.
Bloed has not worked for the police department since last month, according to department spokesman Joe Silva, after being placed on administrative leave in May. The department refused to reveal the findings of its investigation or whether he was fired. Silva would not comment on Bloed’s arrest because he is no longer employed by the department.
Bloed’s lawyer, Allen Sawyer, said he resigned from the police department after committing a “lapse in judgment” by engaging in what he claims was consensual sexual activity with people he met as an officer.
“It may have been a horrible lapse of judgment. But it was not the criminal act that you see now,” Sawyer said of the charges.
Bloed, who graduated from the Ray Simon Police Academy in 2002, was hired by the Stockton Police Department in 2008 after serving as an officer in Modesto, California. He’s worked as a patrol officer, motor officer, and field training officer.
At least three women made sexual misconduct claims against Bloed this spring, alleging he abused his power as an officer to take advantage of them. In one case, a woman is alleging Bloed pulled her vehicle over, later made her pose for photographs, and eventually had unprotected sexual intercourse with her.
The other two women also allege he raped them while still with the police department, said Dan Gilleon, a lawyer representing the three women.
Unless they come forward publicly, the Associated Press does not name people who claim to have been sexually assaulted.
Gilleon stated that he had not seen the charging document as of Thursday morning and thus could not confirm whether any of the confidential victims mentioned are his clients. The document names eight victims of the various crimes Bloed is accused of.
The case, according to Gilleon, was a “system-wide failure” by the police department. He stated that if any police officers are found to have ignored knowledge of the allegations against Bloed, they should be fired.
One of the most common complaints leveled against law enforcement officials is sexual misconduct.
The Associated Press discovered in a 2015 investigation that approximately 1,000 officers lost their licenses over a six-year period for various sex crimes or sexual misconduct, including rape, possession of child pornography, and on-duty intercourse.
The Stockton Police Officers Association issued a statement Wednesday saying they were “extremely disappointed” to learn of Bloed’s arrest.
“The charges and allegations against him, if proven true, are abhorrent and reprehensible,” the group said. “These accusations in no way reflect the high standards and values of this association and the profession of law enforcement.”