INDIANAPOLIS – A federal grand jury in Indianapolis returned an indictment late yesterday charging a former New Castle Police Department officer with three counts of deprivation under color of law and one count of witness tampering.
According to the indictment, Aaron Strong, 44, violated the civil rights of three individuals by using unreasonable force when he assaulted arrestee J.W., pretrial detainee T.C., and pretrial detainee E.S., resulting in bodily injury to all three. The indictment further alleges that the assaults against J.W. and E.S. involved the use of dangerous weapons. Each of these civil rights charges carries a maximum penalty of 10 years of imprisonment.
The indictment also charges Strong with one count of witness tampering for engaging in misleading conduct toward another person with the intent to hinder, delay, and prevent the communication to a federal law enforcement officer of information relating to the assault of J.W. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years of imprisonment.
Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division; U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers for the Southern District of Indiana; and Special Agent in Charge Herbert Stapleton for the FBI Indianapolis Field Office made the announcement. The case was investigated by the FBI Indianapolis Field Office and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Blackett for the Southern District of Indiana and Trial Attorney Alec Ward of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.
An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.