Arkansas sheriff charged with assaulting 3 in his custody

An Arkansas sheriff faces federal charges that he assaulted three people in his custody

FORT SMITH, Ark. -- An Arkansas sheriff pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of assaulting three people in his custody.

Franklin County Sheriff Anthony Boen was indicted on three counts of deprivation of rights under color of law. Boen pleaded not guilty before a federal judge.

The indictment alleges Boen used unreasonable force to punish pretrial detainees on three separate occasions. It accuses Boen of punching one detainee multiple times in the head and body on Sept. 14, 2017, when the detainee was handcuffed and shackled in the back of a police car.

On Nov. 21, 2018, Boen pushed a detainee onto the floor and grabbed his hair or beard during an interrogation, the indictment alleges. On Dec. 3, 2018, he's accused of striking multiple times a detainee who was shackled to a bench inside Franklin County jail and not resisting.

Boen was released Tuesday on $5,000 bond. He was ordered not to enter the Franklin County sheriff's office and to relinquish all his duties except for signing employee checks, which will be brought to his home. He was also prohibited from possessing a firearm.

If convicted, Boen faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

An attorney for Boen said he did not have comment on the case. A trial was set for Feb. 3.