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Press Release

Former Honolulu police officer sentenced to four years for committing civil rights offenses

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Hawaii

HONOLULU, Hawaii – John Rabago, 44, of Honolulu, Hawaii, was sentenced today in federal court by U.S. District Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi to 48 months of imprisonment for his role in violating an individual’s constitutional rights. In December 2019, Rabago pled guilty to one count of conspiring to deprive a person of his civil rights, and to one count of acting under color of law to deprive the same individual of his rights.

U.S. Attorney Kenji M. Price for the District of Hawaii stated that according to court documents and information presented in court, on January 28, 2018, while working as on-duty officers, Rabago and Reginald Ramones conspired to force an individual to lick a urinal in a public bathroom. According to court documents, in a separate and unrelated incident prior to January 2018, Rabago made another individual place his head in a public bathroom toilet in order to avoid arrest.

“The defendant’s egregious conduct in this case is out-of-step with the tremendous work performed by police officers every day in Honolulu. 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,” said U.S Attorney Price.

“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.

Rabago’s co-defendant, Ramones, previously pled guilty to misprision of a felony and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 22, 2020.

This case was investigated by the Honolulu Division of the FBI. It is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Timothy Visser of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Brady for the District of Hawaii.


Ashley Mah Edwards

Updated July 15, 2020

Civil Rights