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Officers who allegedly forced man to lick public urinal indicted on civil rights offenses

An attorney representing the officers told NBC News that they are not guilty and are confident a jury of their peers will acquit them.

Two police officers in Honolulu, Hawaii, who allegedly forced a homeless man to lick a urinal in a public restroom were charged Friday with civil rights offenses, federal authorities said.

John Rabago, 43, and Reginald Ramones, 43, were each charged with 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.

They pleaded not guilty in federal court on Friday and were released on $25,000 unsecured bonds.

They each face a maximum penalty of 11 years in prison and a $350,000 fine based on the combined charges, which stem from a January 2018 incident in Honolulu.

Authorities allege Rabago and Ramones responded to a trespassing complaint where they came across the victim and forced him to lick a urinal in a public restroom.

The alleged misconduct was reported last year by another officer from the Honolulu Police Department who responded. The department subsequently turned the case over to the FBI. Rabago and Ramones were stripped of their guns and badges in February 2018.

Megan Kau, an attorney representing Rabago, told NBC News on Sunday that both officers maintain their innocence and are confident a jury of their peers will acquit them.