A former police chief in South Jersey will be spending 28 months behind bars for lying to FBI agents who were questioning him about violating an 18-year-old man’s civil rights during an arrest in 2016.

64-year-old Frank M. Nucera, Jr., of Bordentown, who is the retired police chief for the Bordentown Police Department, was sentenced on Wednesday. He was convicted in October, 2019, on one count of making false statements to FBI agents. Nucera is also charged with one count of hate crime assault and one count of deprivation of civil rights under color of law; a mistrial was declared on those counts and he is awaiting a retrial.

Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael Honig's office says about the case,

On Sept. 1, 2016, two Bordentown Township police officers responded to a phone call from the Bordentown Ramada, complaining that two teenagers had stayed in a room at the hotel without paying. The teens were listed in the indictment as “Civilian 1,” an 18-year-old African American teenager, and “Civilian 2,” a 16-year-old African American girl. After the officers arrived and questioned the teenagers, the situation allegedly escalated into a physical confrontation, with both teens attempting to resist arrest. The officers called for backup, and numerous officers, including then-Chief Nucera, arrived on the scene.

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After Civilian 1 was handcuffed and was being escorted out of the hotel by police, Nucera allegedly approached him from behind and slammed the teenager’s head into a metal doorjamb. During a video recorded interview by FBI special agents, Nucera falsely stated multiple times that he did not touch Civilian 1 during the arrest.

In addition to the prison term, Nucera was sentenced to two years of supervised release.

A judge has ordered that his prison term will not begin until the remaining charges are resolved.

The remaining two counts of the indictment on which Nucera will be retried are merely accusations, and he remains innocent unless and until proven guilty, says Honig.

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