A former police officer in Paterson, New Jersey, has been sentenced to six months behind bars for videotaping his partner slapping a person. 

Ex-Paterson Police officer Roger Then pleaded guilty Tuesday to recording his partner beat a hospital patient repeatedly who attempted suicide. According to the Paterson Press, Then blamed his partner for forcing him to behave in inappropriate ways while on duty. 

The 29-year-old Army National Guardsman said his partner, 27-year-old Ruben McAusland, had a history of corruption.

“I dreaded going to work,” Then said in court regarding his relationship with McAusland. “Since he was my senior officer, I had to do whatever he said, no questions asked.”

Then claimed he recorded the patient and McAusland exchanging barbs. He never admitted to videotaping the assault. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Rahul Agarwal told the judge to disregard the former officer's explanation because of the events before the recorded assault. 

McAusland reportedly punched the patient in the waiting area. Due to Then's refusal to report the assault, Agarwal recommended the convicted officer receive the maximum sentence of six months. 

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“You cannot hide behind a wall of non-revelation because you are part of a group of those that possess blue blood,” Judge William Walls said. “You have to pay the price so hopefully others won’t do what you did.”

According to NJ.com, Then and his partner went to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center on March 5, 2018. They were assigned to monitor the suicide patient. Surveillance footage caught the patient throwing gloves at the hospital staff and McAusland punching him.

In Then's video, viewers can see the victim laying on a hospital bed as the 27-year-old slapped the man at least two times. There is a bit of blood splattered on the white sheets. It is not clear if it was there before the assault. 

McAusland pleaded guilty to selling stolen marijuana, heroin, and powder and crack cocaine last year. He was sentenced to five years last week for his part.  

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