According to the Providence Journal, a Woonsocket police officer – John H. Douglas, 34, of Blackstone, Mass. – was arrested by the FBI and arraigned Thursday in RI Federal Court on charges that he violated the civil rights of a 16 year old in his custody by assaulting him and on charges of obstructing justice. As a result of the assault, the 16 year old boy had the socket around his left eye fractured in three places and he also suffered a broken nose.
Courtesy of the Journal, you can read a copy of the indictment in .pdf format. The indictment alleges that Douglas did “punch, strike, and otherwise assault” the victim, resulting in bodily injury. And the second count of the indictment alleges that Douglas obstructed justice when he allegedly tried to persuade other Woonsocket officers to provide false information to FBI agents who were investigating the matter.
In an unusual move for the judiciary demonstrating the severity of the boy’s injuries, this case first made the news when Chief Family Court Judge Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr. called the Providence Journal in September with the news that the boy had appeared in his court with severe injuries.
The maximum penalty for the civil rights allegation is 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum penalty for obstruction of justice is 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine.