Hickman County, Tenn., Deputy Sheriff Charged with Civil Rights Violations
WASHINGTON - A federal grand jury in Nashville, Tenn., today returned an indictment charging Hickman County, Tenn., Deputy Sheriff Kenneth H. Smith with federal civil rights violations, as well as charges of lying to federal investigators, the Justice Department announced.
The indictment alleges that in or about May 2008, Smith violated a victim’s right to be free from interference with bodily integrity by engaging in aggravated sexual abuse. The indictment further alleges that Smith caused that victim bodily injury in the course of violating her civil rights.
The indictment also alleges that in September, October and December 2008, Smith violated the rights of two other victims to be free from an unreasonable search by photographing various parts of their unclothed bodies under the false pretense that those photographs were necessary for an official investigation. The indictment additionally alleges that on Jan. 13, 2009, Smith knowingly made two materially false statements to investigators.
An indictment is only an allegation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The case was investigated by investigators with the FBI and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal McDonough and Civil Rights Division Trial Attorney Jonathan Skrmetti.