MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Milwaukee County judge sentenced on Thursday, December 5th Milwaukee Police officers Jeffrey Dollhopf and Brian Kozelek. They are the last two of the four MPD officers charged for criminal misconduct related to illegal strip searches.
Both officers pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct as party to a crime -- a misdemeanor. The lesser charge was based on their limited involvement with an arrest made on July 7th, 2011.
"When officers are charged with felonies and they're sometimes reduced down to misdemeanors, I'm afraid sometimes that doesn't send a strong enough message that, again, it's not going to be tolerated, and people do have rights," said John Safran, who represents the victim in the case.
Kozelek and Dollhopf were each sentenced to $300 fines and community service. Neither will face jail time as long as they complete the other terms of their sentence. They are also required to resign from the Milwaukee Police Department.
Kozelek's attorney told the court he's already facing punishment saying, "he has to now seek out another form of employment so he can continue to support his young children, and he will do so bearing with him the stigma of being an ex-cop with a criminal record."
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.
"In the sense of ordering him to essentially defecate into a box, to probe himself, to look for drugs that, ultimately, were never there," said Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern. "These officers didn't do any of that. Their presence there, though, was one, essentially from the state's point of view, as standing there as a show of force."
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.