TRENTON - Retired Bordentown Police Chief Frank M. Nucera, charged by federal prosecutors with civil rights violations amid allegations of excessive force during a 2016 arrest, edges closer to trial.

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A grand jury in Trenton returned an indictment that adds a charge of false statements to the count of hate crime assault, and a count of deprivation of civil rights under color of law.

The original charges each carry possible prison terms of up to 10 years, if convicted, plus fines.

The case against the 60-year-old, who also served as Bordentown's township administrator, stems from a September 1, 2015 arrest at a Holiday Inn. Two African-American teens allegedly used a room without paying.

Authorities said that the 18- and 16-year-old struggled against officers. Nucera reportedly responded among the backup officers who arrived.

According to information contained in the indictment, the handcuffed and pepper-sprayed 18-year-old began loudly complaining as he was escorted toward an exit, at which point Nucera allegedly rammed teen's head into a metal door jamb and launched into an epithet-filled tirade.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Molly Lorber and Sarah Wolfe are conducting the state's case. At the time of his November 1 arrest, Nucera retained counsel by Mount Holly attorney Tracy Riley.

Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.

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