Former Honolulu police officer John Rabago, 44, was sentenced on Wednesday for making a homeless man lick a urinal on Jan. 28, 2018, and for making another man put his head in a toilet to avoid arrest during an earlier, unrelated incident, prosecutors said.
“The defendant’s egregious conduct in this case is out-of-step with the tremendous work performed by police officers every day in Honolulu,” U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price for the District of Hawaii said in a statement. “I commend the work that our dedicated police officers do day-in and day-out to protect our communities. Prosecutions like these show that a uniform and a badge will not insulate those who violate the civil rights of others from the long arm of the law.”
The defendant pleaded guilty last December to one count of conspiring to deprive a person of his civil rights, and one count of acting under color of law to deprive the same individual of his civil rights. He is now sentenced to 48 months in a federal prison.
Rabago and co-defendant Reginald Ramones were indicted in April 2019 regarding the urinal incident, but Ramones pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony in return for testifying against Rabago. Ramones confessed to failing to tell federal authorities what his fellow officer did.
From the DOJ:
Ramones further admitted that he was present for a separate and unrelated incident prior to January 2018 in which Rabago made another individual place his head in a public bathroom toilet in order to avoid arrest.
“The FBI is committed to ensuring the protection of the civil rights of all citizens regardless of class, status, or creed,” said Special Agent in Charge Eli S. Miranda of the FBI’s Honolulu Field Office in the wake of Rabago’s sentencing.
[Screengrab of Rabago, in center with blue shirt, via KHON2 News]
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