UPDATE: 4 Officers Plead Not Guilty in Strip Search Case

UPDATED Thursday, November 15, 2012 --- 11:04 a.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Four Milwaukee police officers accused of illegal strip searches have pleaded not guilty to charges.

Prosecutors say Officer Michael Vagnini conducted body cavity searches and the other officers didn't stop him. Vagnini is facing 25 charges, including sexual assault. The other three officers, Jeffrey Dollhopf, Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight, are charged with misconduct in office and violating the strip search law.

The four officers were in Milwaukee County Circuit Court Thursday to enter their pleas. Kozelek's attorney, Patrick Brennan, argued there's no proof the defendant knew Vagnini didn't have authorization for the searches.

WISN-TV reports District Attorney John Chisholm says simply being present and not objecting is enough to support criminal charges.

The officers are expected back in court for a pretrial hearing next month.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.


Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2012 --- 1:06 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A prosecutor says criminal charges are being filed against four Milwaukee police officers accused of illegally strip searching suspects.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm says Officer Michael Vagnini faces 25 counts of violating the strip search law, misconduct in public office and sexual assault. Officer Jeffrey Dollhopf has been charged with two counts of violating the strip search law and two counts of misconduct. Officers Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight each face one count of illegal strip search and one count of misconduct.

The investigation into potentially illegal searches began in March. Police Chief Edward Flynn said at the time the department was aware the searches for drugs had possibly crossed the line to sexual assault and civil rights violations. Seven people have filed notices claiming they were illegally searched.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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