Roman Granados, 48, pleaded guilty in April to misdemeanor child abuse and disturbing the peace.
Chula Vista police said Granados was attending the June 2014 graduation for one of his girlfriend's children when the teenage victim, Matthew McCormick Jr., confronted his mother about a prior disagreement. Granados intervened, hitting, slapping and choking the boy, according to police.
The teen initially refused medical treatment but went to a facility hours later after complaining of pain, police said.
Granados -- a 14-year CVPD veteran -- was placed on administrative leave afterward but later returned to work.
“This is a serious, I would almost say, egregious example of this. It was done in public, it was done by a peace officer," Judge Matthew Braner said. “With all of that in mind, the court is going to put him on probation for four years.”
Granados sat emotionless as the judge sentenced him.
Cell phone video from that day, shot moments after the attack, shows the face of the off-duty officer. Parents are surrounding him, yelling at him for hitting and choking the teen.
“Why did he do that to me? Why is it OK for a man like that to come up behind a kid like me at my sister’s graduation ceremony and attack me?” said McCormick.
McCormick, now 18, chose to show his face for the first time and speak exclusively to FOX 5 about the impact of the violent encounter.
“It’s something that I guess I’m trying to move on from, I really am. I mean, I relive it, I deal with it, but I guess that also helps to make me a stronger person," McCormick said.
He says despite everything, he’s stronger and is glad the case is coming to a close. However, he believes as an officer, Granados should have been held more accountable.
“There’s after effects for the victims," McCormick said. “But I’m going to use my life and I’m going to make a positive difference with those who can’t really do that themselves.”
In addition to four years of probation and 52 weeks of child-abuse counseling, Granados was sentenced to 45 days of public works service and must pay a $746 fine.
He will not be allowed to possess a firearm while off-duty.
The Chula Vista Police Department would not comment on Friday's sentence except to say it is conducting its own internal investigation.