Former Plymouth police sergeant convicted of using excessive force

Charges stemmed from incident in November 2011

BOSTON - A former Plymouth police sergeant was convicted Thursday of using excessive force and falsifying reports to cover up his actions. According to a release from the US Attorney's Office, it took a jury three hours to find 47-year-old Shaw Coughlin guilty of deprivation of constitutional rights under color of law and falsifying a record to impede a federal investigation.

Coughlin was indicted in October 2012 on charges stemming from an incident that occurred on November 19, 2011. On that day at the Plymouth Police Station, Coughlin reportedly assaulted an arrestee who was in a holding cell with his hands cuffed behind his back. Coughlin was also shown to have falsified reports to cover up the assault.

"The FBI was proud to work with the Plymouth Police Department and the US Attorney's Office on this investigation to ensure that justice was served," said Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Vince Lisi. "Nothing justifies or excuses Mr. Coughlin's actions because it is never acceptable to break the law in order to enforce it."

Coughlin will be sentenced on May 20, 2014 in Boston. He faces up to 10 years in prison on the assault charge and 20 years on the obstruction charge. Three years of supervised release follow both charges and a $250,000 fine for each charge may also be assessed.


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