Department of Justice Seal Department of Justice
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOV
CRT
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Former Kentucky State Trooper Pleads Guilty to
Federal Civil Rights Violation and Witness Tampering

WASHINGTON - Former Kentucky State Police Trooper Jason Christopher O達annon, 33, has pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights charge for using his authority to attempt to coerce sexual acts from a female confidential informant in June of 2005, the Justice Department announced today. O達annon also pleaded guilty to witness tampering.

O達annon admitted in court today that he ordered the victim, who worked for the Kentucky State Police, to make undercover drug purchases and to come to his home so that they could discuss her work. O達annon admitted that once she arrived at his home, he grabbed her and kissed her against her will. O達annon also admitted that he subsequently asked a fellow trooper to lie to government investigators and provide a false alibi for him.

鏑aw enforcement officials have a duty to uphold the rights of citizens and to protect them from harm, said Wan J. Kim, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. 展hile most officers carry out their duties with honor and professionalism, the Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those officers who misuse their authority and commit such unlawful acts.

的t is a privilege to be placed in such a high position of trust in your community, and to violate that trust tarnishes the reputation of Kentucky痴 law enforcement, said U.S. Attorney Amul R. Thapar for the Eastern District of Kentucky. 徹ur office will continue to prosecute those who take advantage of the confidence placed in them and hold them accountable for their actions.

O達annon pleaded guilty to a two-count criminal information charging witness tampering and deprivation of rights under color of law. The defendant faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in prison and a fine of up to $350,000. Sentencing is set for Nov. 16, 2007. The Civil Rights Division is committed to the vigorous enforcement of the federal criminal civil rights laws, including those that prohibit the willful use of sexual coercion or other acts of misconduct by law enforcement officials. The Division has compiled a significant record on criminal civil rights prosecutions in the last six years. In fiscal year 2006, nearly 50 percent of the cases brought by the Criminal Section of the Civil Rights Division involved such prosecutions. Since fiscal year 2001, the Division has filed 25 percent more official misconduct cases and convicted 50 percent more of these defendants than in the preceding six years.

This case was investigated by the Special Agent Steven Wight of the Louisville Division of the FBI and Lieutenant Vic Brown of the Kentucky State Police. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Dicken, and U.S. Department of Justice Special Litigation Counsel Gerard Hogan and Trial Attorney Evan Rikhye.

###

07-631