Former Milwaukee police officer sentenced to 26 months for performing illegal strip searches

  • Updated: June 21, 2013 - 7:35 PM

MILWAUKEE — A former Milwaukee police officer convicted of performing illegal strip searches and body-cavity searches on dozens of suspects has been sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Michael Vagnini (vag-NEE'-nee) pleaded no contest in April to four felonies and four misdemeanors.

Prosecutors say Vagnini conducted searches inside men's underwear, sometimes inserting his fingers into their rectums. State law prohibits police officers from conducting body-cavity searches.

The Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/12ZT9M0) reports Vagnini's attorney blamed the system for encouraging and rewarding Vagnini's aggressive tactics.

In a statement, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said: "We cannot break the law in the name of enforcing the law."

Vagnini was suspended with pay and resigned Wednesday.

Three other officers were charged with Vagnini. They were also suspended with pay pending trials later this year.

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