Jury finds Franklin County Sheriff guilty of violating civil rights of inmates

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FORT SMITH, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The jury has come to a guilty verdict regarding Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen.

Anthony Boen booked into the Washington County jail on August 9, 2021. | Courtesy: Washington County Sheriff’s Office

The jury found Boen guilty on counts two and three of violating the civil rights of inmates by using unreasonable force. Boen was taken to the Washington County Detention Center by U.S. Marshals.

After a week-long trial, witness testimony wrapped up on Friday, August 6. The jury could not reach a unanimous decision on all three counts.

If convicted, Boen could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Sentencing will happen in four months. A specific date will be announced at a later time.

On Dec. 3, 2018, Boen struck a detainee multiple times in the head with a closed fist while the detainee was sitting on the floor and shackled to a bench inside the Franklin County Jail. 

On Nov. 21, 2018, Boen slammed a detainee onto the floor and ripped his hair during an interrogation.  Both detainees suffered bodily injury as a result of Boen’s actions.

“Anthony Boen swore an oath to support the United States Constitution and the State of Arkansas Constitution,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Clay Fowlkes of the Western District of Arkansas.  “His actions clearly violated not only the civil rights of these individuals but also the trust of the people of Franklin County. Cases like this are very important to our office because they involve the most personal and basic of civil rights: the rights to be protected and unharmed while in the custody of law enforcement officers. Today’s guilty verdict shows that justice will prevail in cases where a person’s civil rights are violated. We will continue to vigorously pursue cases involving the violation of basic civil rights that should be afforded to everyone.”

Stay with KNWA/FOX24 as we continue to learn more.

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