Ex-Police Sergeant Gets 27 Months In Rights Violation Case

Nov 15, 2017

A former Pittsburgh police sergeant has been sentenced to 27 months in prison on a conviction of violating the civil rights of drunken teenager in an assault at a high school football game two years ago.

U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon imposed the term Wednesday on 48-year-old Stephen Matakovich, saying his conduct "undermines public confidence" in the good men and women of the Pittsburgh police force.

Authorities said he twice pushed and then punched 19-year-old Gabriel Despres outside the playoffs at Heinz Field in November 2015. Jurors convicted him of violating Despres' rights but acquitted him of falsifying reports.

Matakovich and his defense attorney sought probation, saying he had an exemplary career as an officer. Matakovich said "There's more to me than 11 seconds of potential misinterpretation."