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Newport officer resigns after allegations he asked teen for explicit photos, sexual relations

Generic POLICE
Posted at 4:10 PM, Oct 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 21:48:34-04

NEWPORT — A Newport Police officer is facing charges related to allegations he asked an underage teen for explicit pictures and asked to have sexual relations with the boy, according to the Boone County Sheriff's Office.

Detectives with the Boone County Sheriff's Office charged Tyler L. Hatfield, 30, from Burlington with one count of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or prohibited activities.

Newport Police Department released a statement following Hatfield's arrest and said Hatfield has been suspended without pay and an internal investigation is being conducted. By Monday, Hatfield had resigned from the police department.

According to deputies, the investigation began Friday after a teenage boy came forward with the allegations. The victim reportedly told investigators Hatfield reached out to him on SnapChat.

Detectives said they recovered a cellphone and a tablet following a search at Hatfield's home Saturday night.

Investigators said when interviewed, Hatfield confessed to sending explicit messages to the victim and requesting and then receiving an explicit picture from the victim.

Lt. Philip Ridgell said there is no evidence to suggest Hatfield committed the crimes while on duty or while in his professional capacity.

"Nothing is more important to this department and to the citizens of Newport than the integrity of our officers," the department wrote in a press release. "Any allegations of this nature — if true — will not be tolerated."

Following Hatfield's resignation, the Newport Police Department released a new statement in which they said if Hatfield is found guilty, he will lose his certification to serve as a police officer in Kentucky again.

As a result of Senate Bill 80, signed into law by Govorner Andy Beshear earlier this year, loopholes that previously allowed some officers convicted of crimes to serve as an officer with another agency have been closed. Out-of-state law enforcement agencies will also be alerted to an officer's certification status by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council.

"Newport police will work to ensure that Hatfield never again serves as a police officer in Kentucky, using authority granted under Senate Bill 80," reads the statement from the Newport Police Department.