A former Honolulu police officer who forced a homeless man to lick a public urinal has been sentenced to four years in prison, ABC News reported.
During the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi told the ex-cop, John Rabago, to imagine someone doing the same thing to his two young daughters.
“You took from him his only possession: his dignity as a human being,” Kobayashi said.
Kobayashi also reminded Rabago, 44, that he had taken an oath as a police officer to protect and defend, but instead took advantage of the homeless man, just because he could.
The complaint against Rabago stemmed from a nuisance call in 2018 at a public restroom in Honolulu. Rabago and another officer arrived on scene where they found the homeless man in a stall. Rabago then reportedly threatened to beat the man and stuff his face in the toilet if he didn't lick the urinal. At one point, the former cop held the homeless man down and stepped on his legs to keep him on his knees until he licked the urinal.
Following the incident, Rabago asked the other officer to delete text messages about what happened. The other officer, identified as Reginald Ramones, has also left the department and is scheduled to be sentenced next week after he pleaded guilty to knowing Rabago committed a civil rights violation and did not inform his superior officers about the incident.
Rabago also apologized to the victim and his family in court.
"Two years ago I made a decision I'm not proud of," he said. “My actions changed the course of life for all of us."
The homeless man involved in the incident has filed a lawsuit against the Honolulu Police Department and the city.
"He’s pleasantly surprised that the court punished him appropriately," the homeless man's lawyer, Myles Breiner, said. “He was under the impression that they would coddle him and give him a minimum term, a very low sentence."