WASHINGTON – A federal grand jury in Pensacola, Fla., has indicted former Pinnellas County Deputy Sheriff, Richard G. Farnham, on federal civil rights charges relating to the assault of a man while on storm patrol in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan.
The indictment alleges that on Sept. 20, 2004, Farnham, while acting in his capacity as a deputy sheriff, kicked and deployed a taser on an unnamed victim, and in so doing, willfully deprived the victim of his civil rights. The victim suffered bodily injury as a result of the assault.
The charges contained in the indictment carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating this matter. The case is being jointly prosecuted by the Criminal Section of the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida.
An indictment is merely an accusation and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.