Officer enters plea in case involving alleged illegal strip search
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — 32-year-old Milwaukee Police Officer Jacob Knight pleaded no contest on Friday, July 12th to a charge of illegal body cavity search, a misdemeanor. According to court records online, a felony count of misconduct in public office was dismissed in the case.
Knight is one of four Milwaukee police officers accused of illegal strip searches. The others include Michael Vagnini, Jeffrey Dollhop and Brian Kozelek.
The criminal complaint against the officers detailed 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.
Vagnini pleaded no contest to four felonies and four misdemeanors in April — he was sentenced to 26 months in prison plus another 34 months of extended supervision. As part of his deal, Vagnini will not have to register as a sex offender.
Knight is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday, October 4th.