The retired chief of the Bordentown Township Police Department was sentenced today to 28 months in prison for lying to FBI agents who were questioning him about violating an 18-year-old man’s civil rights during an arrest, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
Frank M. Nucera Jr., 64, of Bordentown, New Jersey, was convicted in October 2019 of one count of making false statements to FBI agents who were interviewing him about an arrest that occurred on Sept. 1. 2016. Nucera is also charged by indictment 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 retrial.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
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.
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, Judge Kugler sentenced Nucera to two years of supervised release. He also ordered that Nucera will not begin serving his sentence until the remaining counts are resolved.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, with the investigation leading to the charges and today’s sentencing.
The government is represented by Molly S. Lorber, Attorney in Charge of the Camden Office, and Senior Civil Rights Counsel R. Joseph Gribko.
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.
Defense counsel: Rocco C. Cipparone Jr. Esq., Haddon Heights, New Jersey