A former Honolulu police officer who forced a homeless man to lick a urinal in 2018 was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi told defendant John Rabago that he had sworn to protect and defend the public but instead took advantage of a poor person, the Associated Press reported.
“You took from him his only possession: his dignity as a human being,” Kobayashi said.
Rabago pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy and deprivation of rights, according to his plea agreement.
On Jan. 28, 2018, Rabago responded to a nuisance complaint in a public bathroom where he found Samuel Ingall, who was homeless. Eventually, another officer, Reginald Ramones, responded to the scene.
While Ramones stood in the bathroom doorway, Rabago aggressively and repeatedly told Ingall that he could only avoid arrest if he licked the urinal in the bathroom, the plea agreement states. After Rabago threatened Ingall, he told Ramones to close the door, which he did.
Once again, Rabago instructed Ingall to lick the urinal, which he reluctantly did, the agreement states. Rabago then allowed the man to leave and laughed about the incident.
HPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Ingall filed a civil rights lawsuit earlier this year against the officers and the city. He has accused the defendants of negligence, causing emotional distress, false imprisonment, unlawful seizure, and assault and battery, among other offenses.
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