Former Boyle Deputy found guilty of civil rights violations

Published 4:30 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

A federal jury in Lexington found former Boyle County Sheriff’s Deputy Tanner Abbott guilty of criminal civil rights violations and obstruction of justice on Monday.

Abbott was found guilty of four counts of deprivation of rights under color of law, one count of conspiracy, and one count of falsification of records within federal jurisdiction.

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Abbott was found not guilty of one count of deprivation of rights under color of law.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, Abbot was found to have attacked two men during a traffic stop. On Jan. 20, 2021, Abbott conducted a routine traffic stop on a vehicle with two young men inside. During the stop, the driver asked to speak to Abbott’s supervisor. Abbott then punched the driver in the face, pulled him from the vehicle, and continued to strike him on the ground.

The passenger, who was the brother of the driver, stepped out to plead with Abbott to stop, but Abbott elbowed him in the face and broke his glasses.

On Feb. 2, 2021, during an arrest, Abbott punched a handcuffed detainee in the face without cause. Abbott then conspired with another officer to falsely allege that the detainee lunged toward Abbott.

On March 31, 2021, Abbot unconstitutionally searched a hotel room in Harrodsburg. Abbott lied to hotel staff that he had a search warrant for a guest at the hotel and proceeded to enter and search the room without consent or lawful authority. Abbott falsely reported that the guest consented to the search.

On April 28, 2021, Abbott arrested a driver who had attempted to flee during a traffic stop. When the driver was in handcuffs, Abbott approached them and punched them in the face without cause, according to the Department of Justice.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 7 at 10 a.m. in Lexington.