• Dennis McCaslin

Franklin County sheriff indicted for federal civil rights violations stemming from 2017 incident




A federal grand jury returned an indictment on November 20, 2019, charging Anthony Boen, the current Sheriff of Franklin County with federal civil rights offenses. Boen, age 49, is charged with three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 242.


The indictment alleges that Boen used unreasonable force to punish pretrial detainees on three separate occasions.  On Sept. 14, 2017, Boen allegedly punched a detainee multiples times in the head and body while the detainee was handcuffed and shackled in the back of a police car.


The indictment further alleges that, on Nov. 21, 2018, Boen pushed a detainee onto the floor and grabbed his hair or beard during an interrogation. Two weeks later on December 3, 2018, Boen allegedly struck a detainee multiple times in the head while the detainee was shackled to a bench inside the Franklin County Jail and was not resisting. The indictment alleges that all three detainees suffered bodily injury as a result of Boen’s actions.


An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.  If convicted, Boen faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.


The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon T. Carter of the Western District of Arkansas and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Michael J. Songer.