A deputy sheriff who undertook a campaign of harassment against a neighbor he thought was a pedophile has been hit with a default judgment by a federal judge who termed the officer’s alleged behavior “outrageous, atrocious conduct that is utterly intolerable in a civilized society.”

The complaint against Monroe County Deputy Sheriff Michael Hildreth, who has since been convicted of eavesdropping and official misconduct and fired, alleges that he: publicly accused his neighbor of being a pedophile; told the neighbor’s employer he was a pedophile; wrongly used his position as a deputy sheriff to launch an investigation; tricked the neighbor into installing spyware on his computer so he could track his activities; ordered the man to leave the neighborhood; and taped a rotting fish head to the neighbor’s car.

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