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Press Release

Fall River Police Officer Found Guilty of Assaulting Man in Custody

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Defendant also found guilty of submitting false reports

BOSTON – A Fall River Police Officer was convicted today following a four-day jury trial of assaulting a man in custody with a baton and failing to report the assault in subsequent reports.

Nicholas M. Hoar, 37, was convicted of on one count of deprivation of rights under color of law and two counts of false reports. U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs scheduled sentencing for April 24, 2024. Hoar was arrested and charged in November 2022. 

“Police officers who abuse their power will continue to be held accountable by this office,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “This office has a huge amount of respect for the thousands of men and women in law enforcement who conduct their jobs with high integrity and put their lives at risk every day. The defendant’s conduct and lack of moral compass is an affront to all those members of law enforcement who serve with honor.”

“What Fall River Police Officer Nicholas Hoar did – in using his position of authority to assault a man in his custody and then try to cover it up by filing false reports– is utterly contemptible,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “We in law enforcement are granted significant authority in order to effectively do our jobs, and when a police officer abuses those powers and deprives another human being of their civil rights, the FBI and our partners will ensure they are brought to justice for egregiously violating the public’s trust.”

On Dec. 21, 2020, while on duty as an officer with the Fall River Police Department, Hoar struck an individual who had been arrested in the forehead with a baton, resulting in bodily injury to the arrestee. Additionally, on Dec. 21 and Dec. 22, 2020, Hoar submitted two reports which omitted any mention of the fact that he had struck the arrestee in the forehead with a baton.  

The charge of deprivation of rights under color of law resulting in bodily injury provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of false reports provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting U.S. Attorney Levy and FBI SAC Cohen made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristina E. Barclay and John J. Reynolds III of the Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.

Updated February 1, 2024

Civil Rights