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Eloff pleads guilty to misdemeanor in Molly’s Pub death

Robert E. Eloff, the Buffalo police officer accused of violating the rights of a murder victim, pleaded guilty Monday to a misdemeanor violation.

Eloff’s guilty plea in the Molly’s Pub prosecution came just days after he resigned from the police department.

Under his plea deal with federal prosecutors, the 41-year old Eloff could face up to a year in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Working off-duty, private security, Eloff was at Molly’s Pub the night of May 11, 2014 when bar manager Jeffrey J. Basil shoved William C. Sager Jr. down a flight of stairs.

And then later, while Sager lay unconscious outside the bar, Basil demanded that he be arrested, and Eloff placed him in handcuffs.

Eloff was indicted on a felony charge of using his position as a police officer to violate Sager’s civil rights.

An Air National Guardsman, Sager, 28, suffered a serious brain injury as a result of Basil’s actions. He died about two months after the incident at the University Heights bar.

Molly’s never reopened, but there are plans for a new restaurant and bar at the site.

Sager’s family is suing Basil, the bar’s owners and landlord, the City of Buffalo and the Buffalo Police Department over his death.

email: pfairbanks@buffnews.com