Deputy Tells Two Women Photos Of Their Exposed Bodies Were Needed
The Justice Department says former Hickman County, Tennessee Deputy Sheriff Kenneth H. Smith, 43, pleaded guilty today to violating the rights of two women by photographing parts of their unclothed bodies under the false pretense that those photographs were necessary for an official investigation.
While working as a deputy sheriff, Smith was assigned to investigate two domestic violence complaints. During his investigatory interviews, Smith told the victims that he needed to take photographs of their exposed bodies to document injuries, including intimate areas of their bodies where no injury had occurred.
Smith, abusing his power and position, lied to the victims and claimed these photographs were necessary for the police investigation and prosecution, when in fact the photos were not for legitimate law enforcement purposes, but for himself . The victims, trusting a law enforcement officer to protect them, acquiesced to Smith's authority.
Smith also lied to FBI agents about sending text messages to a former female inmate in which he requested the former inmate send him nude pictures of herself, in return for Smith's help in dismissing or reducing the outstanding criminal charges against her.
When Smith was confronted with photographs of the explicit text messages coming from his personal cell phone number, Smith continued to lie to FBI agents that he had not sent them.