Suspended Little Silver police officer Steven Solari was sentenced to five years in prison Thursday in a case in which he was alleged to have attacked a handcuffed man in the borough police station.
Solari, 40, also was ordered to forfeit his $91,000-a-year job and any future prospect for public employment under the sentence handed down by Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, the Asbury Park Press reports.
In October, a Monmouth County jury found Solari of six charges, including assault, following an alleged stationhouse assault of a borough man in January, 2010.
Solari was convicted on four counts of official misconduct, one count of simple assault and one count of hindering his own apprehension but was found not guilty of aggravated assault.
From the Press:
Vernoia said the sentence, which is mandated by state law, is harsh but correct.
“Police officers must know they cannot assault defenseless individuals in their custody for no reason,” Vernoia said.
The judge said Solari’s crimes show he has a propensity for violence and dishonesty, and that the officer showed no remorse for them.
Solari stood trial last year and was convicted of four counts of official misconduct, as well as hindering his own apprehension and simple assault.
The misconduct charges stemmed from several acts by Solari after he was summoned to check on the welfare of Little Silver resident Sean Casey on Dec. 29, 2009. Vernoia said the jury found that Solari failed to take Casey, who was injured and bleeding, to get medical treatment, and instead took him to the police station; that he punched Casey in the head three times while Casey was handcuffed; that he lied in a police report, falsely saying Casey had lunged at him; and he tried to get a first-aid responder to also say that Casey had lunged.
Defense attorney Edward C. Bertucio said Solari maintains his innocence, and his law firm, Hobbie, Corrigan and Bertucio, plans to appeal the jury’s verdict and the judge’s sentence.
NJ.com describes Solari being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs, as well as greater detail about the allegations that led to his conviction.