ONTARIO – A Payette man charged with six counts of sexual battery of a minor worked for the Ontario School District from March until July.
Alexander S. Plaza, 25, a former Fruitland police officer, was arraigned last week in Washington County Court Weiser. He faces an additional charge of child sexual abuse of a minor under 16 years old. His bond was set at $500,000. All the charges are felonies.
School district records – obtained through a public records request by the Enterprise – show that Plaza was hired as an instructional assistant at May Roberts Elementary School in March. He worked for the district until May 30 and ended his employment July 31.
“The safety and well-being of our students remain our top priority. We want our Ontario School District community to be aware that a past Ontario School District employee is being held on charges of sex-related felonies. 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,” Taryn Smith, a spokesperson for the Ontario School District, said in a statement last week.
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“All of our OSD staff and volunteers are subject to drug and background tests prior to their hire or permission in facilities. Staff and volunteers are thoroughly vetted and processed to make sure there were not prior indications of these kinds of inappropriate behaviors. Unfortunately, we cannot predict human behavior,” Smith said in the statement.
Plaza also worked for a brief time at the Boys & Girls Club of Western Treasure Valley in Payette.
“Any parent that this man had contact with their child should check with their child,” said Dave Goldthorpe, Malheur County district attorney.
Goldthorpe said parents can contact local police with concerns or to provide information.
Detectives from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the case.
“If there are any other victims that wish to come forward they should give us a call,” said Detective Jorden Doggett of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office began to investigate Plaza in June and shortly after he resigned from the Fruitland Police Department.
The charges accuse Plaza of crimes involving youth between the ages of 15 and 17, from October 2017 to August 2018, according to Washington County court documents.
Doggett can be contacted at 208-414-2121.
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