A longtime Stockton police officer has been charged with sexually assaulting six people after pulling them over for traffic tickets.
Former Sgt. Nicholas Bloed was arrested Wednesday and jailed on $4.1 million bail after being charged with 15 crimes, 14 of them felonies. Bloed, 41, joined the Stockton police in 2008, after six years as an officer in Manteca, and remained until he was suspended in May after a woman filed suit accusing him of sex battery, a suit later joined by two other women. The department terminated him last month.
The victims included both men and women, according to law enforcement records. San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar told The Chronicle that Bloed is accused of stopping them for minor traffic violations and then telling them they could avoid a ticket by having sex.
“To see somebody go in and use their position of authority and take the liberty and rights of others, force it upon vulnerable victims, it goes against everything we believe in,” Verber Salazar said.
Bloed’s attorney, Allen Sawyer, said Bloed denies the charges and will plead not guilty at his arraignment Monday.
“Based on our review of electronic communications between the Jane Does in this matter and other evidence reviewed, all sexual interactions were both consensual and often initiated by the Jane Does themselves,” Sawyer said, referring to the women who sued Bloed.
On the same day the charges were filed, another Stockton police officer, Ny Tran, was arrested and charged with fraud and identity theft in a case that prosecutors described as unrelated to Bloed. Verber Salazar said Tran is accused of entering the home of a man who had complained of elder abuse, stealing his checks and using one of them to buy a boat.
Verber Salazar said the charges raise questions about the Police Department’s vigilance in controlling its officers.
“When you see a pattern of behavior like this for such an extended period, there’s no way that people didn’t know about it,” the district attorney said. “It’s clear there has to be better checks and balances.”
A Police Department spokesperson, Officer Joseph Silva, said the department would not comment on Bloed’s case since it no longer employed him. He said Tran has been placed on paid administrative leave.
“The Stockton Police Department holds itself to the highest standards, and this alleged criminal behavior is concerning,” Silva said in a statement. “Please know this is not representative of the standards of our profession and all the good work Stockton Police officers do every day.”
Verber Salazar, one of a group of California prosecutors with policies of lessening punishment for minor offenders while prosecuting police for abuses of civilians, has been district attorney since 2015, but was defeated for re-election in June by Ron Freitas, a prosecutor in her office who ran on a tough-on-crime platform. He takes office in January.
The charges against Bloed include five counts of assault by an officer, two counts of forcible oral copulation and one count of forcible sodomy, all committed against victims who were “particularly vulnerable.” He is also accused of “unauthorized use of computer service” for allegedly accessing his victims’ personal online information, and of soliciting bribes by offering not to charge them with crimes in exchange for sex. The incidents dated from 2019 through this spring.
The charging document did not describe the alleged incidents in detail. But the woman who filed the first complaint against Bloed in May said he first stopped her in a parking lot in October 2021 for driving a car without license plates or tags, briefly took her cell phone and gave it back without ticketing her. She said he pulled her over a few weeks later, insisted on putting his camera under the back of her dress, and in later encounters demanded oral sex and intercourse. She said she reported him to the Police Department after their last encounter and was questioned for seven hours over two days.
Attorney Daniel Gilleon, who represents that woman and two others in their damage suit, said Thursday that he had tried to contact Verber Salazar, the Police Department and the mayor’s office for months about the events but never received a response.
Now, he said, “I’m sure we’ll hear the same song and dance from those same powers-that-be about ‘nobody being above the law’ and how this was a supreme ‘abuse of power.’ Those words will express the opposite of what they have shown my clients for months, which is they don’t care about the victims, all they care about is getting re-elected or re-appointed.”
Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @BobEgelko