MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Michael Vagnini, a Milwaukee police officer accused of conducting illegal strip searches and cavity searches of men in his custody, was sentenced to 26 months in prison and 34 months of extended supervision Friday, June 21st.
Vagnini made a plea deal on Monday, April 22nd. As part of the plea deal the sexual assault charge was dismissed and Vagnini will not have to register as a sex offender. With this deal, Vagnini will never be a police officer again.
Vagnini is one of four MPD officers accused in illegal strip searches. Jeffrey Dollhop, Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight also faced charged in connection with the illegal strip search case.
The criminal complaint against the officers details several instances in which illegal strip searches were allegedly conducted. Many of the allegations began with a traffic stop, leading to a pat down and eventually what prosecutors say were illegal cavity searches.
The complaint details multiple other instances in which the officers accused made illegal strip searches during traffic stops as well as at the District 5 police station. In each of the cases, the officers were allegedly attempting to get drugs they believed were concealed within body cavities on the persons they were searching.
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn released the following statement:
“The Milwaukee Police Department remains committed to holding itself to the highest ethical and professional standards. We can not break the law in the name of enforcing the law. We can not pursue noble ends using ignoble means. We will continue to work to regain the trust of those whose confidence in us has been undermined by these events.”