Arkansas sheriff charged with assaulting handcuffed detainees

If convicted, Anthony Boen faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

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An Arkansas sheriff was recently charged in federal court with attacking detainees in three separate instances. According to the indictment, all three assaults resulted in bodily injuries to the detainees who were not resisting.

On September 14, 2017, Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen and a deputy transported an arrestee identified as “J.P.” to the Franklin County Jail. Although J.P. was handcuffed and shackled in the back of the patrol vehicle while not resisting, Sheriff Boen allegedly punched him multiple times in the head and body.

On November 21, 2018, Boen reportedly pushed a detainee identified as “B.E.” onto the floor and grabbed his hair or beard during an interrogation. Two weeks later on December 3, 2018, Boen allegedly struck a detainee identified as “Z.G.” multiple times in the head while the detainee was shackled to a bench inside the Franklin County Jail and was not resisting.

On Tuesday, Boen appeared at the Fort Smith federal courthouse before Magistrate Judge Mark E. Ford. An indictment was unsealed charging the sheriff with three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law.

Elected as the Franklin County Sheriff in 2011, Boen may no longer possess a gun and cannot enter the premises of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. He may continue to sign checks and paperwork from home while refusing to resign.

“The things that he still has the authority over is to sign the checks and we believe that would also include signing any paperwork that may be necessary,” Franklin County’s civil attorney, Christopher Brockett told KFSM. “In the event that either the sheriff, current sheriff resigns from his position or is ultimately found guilty and then is removed from office because of that conviction for a felony, then the quorum court would actually appoint a replacement.”

If convicted, Boen faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

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