John Rabago pleaded guilty in December to the incident, which happened in January 2018, Vice reports. During Rabago’s sentencing on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi told the 44-year-old, “You took from him his only possession: his dignity as a human being.”
In January 2018, Rabago and his partner Officer Reginald Ramones responded to a call about a man in a closed public restroom. The officers found Samuel Ingall in the bathroom. Ingall then told the officers he’d do anything to avoid getting arrested.
Testimonies from Ingall and Ramones reveal that Rabago told Ingall he had to lick the urinal or Rabago would stuff the man’s face into a toilet and beat him. Rabago made Ingall get on his knees, stepped on his legs, and ordered him to lick the urinal. Ingall hesitantly did so, but alleges that Robago made him sit in urine and forced his face into a toilet anyway.
During the incident, Rabago reportedly told the man, “If you lick the urinal, you won’t get arrested.”
Ingall’s siblings went to the police and Rabago was subsequently arrested. The crime was also flagged for review by the FBI. At first, Rabago said he was joking when he demanded Ingall lick the urinal, but still pleaded guilty.
Ramones revealed that he had seen his partner abuse homeless people before. He also admitted Rabago wanted him to lie on the stand to dodge jail time, and asked him to delete text messages about the incident. Ramones is also no longer a policeman, having left on his own accord.
“Two years ago I made a decision I’m not proud of,” Rabago said in court. “My actions changed the course of life for all of us.”
Ramones will also be sentenced after pleading guilty to knowing about Rabago’s offenses but not notifying authorities. Earlier court documents claim Ramones stood in the doorway and held the door open during the incident, then shut it so the officers wouldn’t appear on camera.
Ingall sued the Honolulu Police Department and the city in February, alleging that when Rabago left the public restroom, he laughed and joked about the incident to other officers. According to USA Today, Ingall's attorney said his client was “pleasantly surprised that the court punished him appropriately.”