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Newport Police Officer Charged After Alleged Explicit Exchange with Teen

A Newport Police officer was arrested Saturday night and charged with attempting to have sex with a teenage boy.

Tyler J. Hatfield, 30, of Burlington, became the subject of an investigation on Friday when a teenage boy came forward to report to the Boone Co. Sheriff's Office that an adult man was asking for and receiving explicit pictures from a juvenile teen, as well as asking to have sexual relations with the juvenile.

The sheriff's office said that Hatfield was identified as the suspect when teenage boy identified him. The pair allegedly had been communicating via the app SnapChat.

Sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at Hatfield's residence on Saturday night and recovered a mobile phone and a tablet.

According to the sheriff's office, Hatfield confessed to sending explicit messages to the boy and requesting and then receiving an explicit picture from the boy.

Hatfield is charged with one count of unlawful use of electronic means to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities (a Class D felony).

He is being held at the Boone County Detention Center without bond.

The Newport Police Department issued a statement on Sunday afternoon.

"The Newport Police Department is aware of the charges filed against Officer Tyler Hatfield and have taken immediate steps to remove him from duty. He has been suspended without pay and the department is cooperating fully with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department," the statement said. "An internal investigation by our department will also be conducted. Nothing is more important to this department and to the citizens of Newport than the integrity of our officers. Any allegations of this nature  - if true – will not be tolerated."
 
Hatfield was hired as a police officer recruit in Newport in January 2020. The River City News reported in April of 2021 that Hatfield was one of five local officers to complete basic training at the state police academy.
 
-Staff report
Photo via Boone Co. Detention Center