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Utah police officer charged with assault, illegally accessing records

Criminal charges were filed Tuesday against two people injured in a drug lab explosion in June.
A Bountiful police officer faces criminal charges in two separate cases accusing him of assault and accessing records he wasn't supposed to.
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BOUNTIFUL — A Bountiful police officer faces criminal charges in two separate cases accusing him of assault and accessing records he wasn't supposed to.

Officer Ryan Kent Newbold, 31, who has been with the Bountiful Police Department since 2015, was charged in February with obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor, and assault, a class B misdemeanor.

Then on May 10, Newbold was charged with obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor, plus two counts of unlawful access of police records and unlawful access of driver's license records, class B misdemeanors.

Bountiful Police Lt. Dave Edwards said Newbold has been placed on paid administrative leave. He declined to provide specific details about what Newbold allegedly did, but noted that the charges are based on two separate incidents.

The investigations into the allegations came about because of standard reviews that Bountiful police conduct every time an officer uses force.

"In that process of those reviews, there was a concern of use of force in a case. That concern led to an internal investigation. Early on in the internal investigation, it came to light that it could be a potential criminal violation associated with that," Edwards said.

In both cases, Edwards said Newbold was on duty when the incidents occurred.

Bountiful police contacted the Davis County Attorney's Office to review the cases against Newbold as well as Peace Officers Standards and Training, the state agency that certifies police officers.

The charging documents contain few details.

According to one set of charges, on Oct. 20 Newbold "used unlawful force or violence on another causing bodily injury. The defendant then made verbal and written reports about the incident that were false and that were submitted to or relied upon by government agencies that were or would be conducting an investigation."

The other incident allegedly happened on Nov. 27. Newbold accessed the statewide database for warrants, the National Crime Information Center, and driver's license information "for an unlawful purpose," according to charging documents.

He allegedly accessed information "on an individual not associated with any investigation."

"The defendant then disseminated the protected records for an unlawful purpose. When questioned, the defendant claimed he accidentally sent (the records), but that was shown to be false through text messages he had sent," according to charging documents.

Newbold's attorney, Nathan Evershed, said he also would not release details about the allegations, but stated, "My client asserts his innocence. He is innocent until proven guilty. And we look forward to addressing these matters in a court of law."

Newbold is scheduled to next appear in court in one case on June 28, and the other on July 10. Evershed said he will be requesting to have the two cases combined into one.