Court documents reveal new details on alleged MPD searches

MILWAUKEE -- Four Milwaukee police officers were charged Tuesday, October 9th -- accused of performing illegal strip searches and body cavity searches on drug suspects. FOX6 News has obtained court documents revealing new details on some of these searches.

34-year-old Officer Michael Vagnini faces 25 counts of violating the strip search law, misconduct in public office and second-degree sexual assault. If convicted of these crimes, Vagnini faces up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

41-year-old Officer Jeffrey Dollhopf faces two counts of violating the strip search law and two counts of misconduct in public office.

Officers Brian Kozelek, 33 and Jacob Knight, 31 each face one count of violating the strip search law and one count of misconduct in public office.

The criminal complaint in the case details incidents spanning from February of 2010 to February of 2012.

CLICK HERE to read the entire criminal complaint. WARNING: the content described in the complaint is graphic and not suitable for all readers.

Court documents obtained by FOX6 News show one man had his private parts searched during three separate arrests.

The victim is listed in the criminal complaint filed against the officers. The victim's attorney Michael Chernin told FOX6 News when he first learned of what had allegedly happened, he didn't believe it.

"The stories were so outrageous, because who would believe that a human being would engage in a naked-handed search of a body cavity?" Chernin said.

Then, Chernin said another victim named in the criminal complaint came forward.

"It's so bizarre that in terms of whether we would bring a motion to supress in these things -- what judge was going to believe that at the time?" Chernin said.

The first victim was reportedly stopped on suspicion of drug possession in December of 2010, May of 2011 and September of 2011. Police reportedly found cocaine and THC during body cavity searches.

A John Doe probe into the officers' use of illegal searches resulted in all charges being dropped against this victim. The victim testified under oath during the John Doe investigation, and some of that testimony is printed in the criminal complaint filed against the officers.

The criminal complaint details one traffic stop in September of 2011 near 11th and Capitol. The victim told officials Officer Vagnini put his hands inside the victim's pants and later took him to a room inside the garage area of the Milwaukee Police Department's District 5 station.

The victim told officials he was in handcuffs, and Officer Vagnini took off the victim's pants and shirt before reportedly pushing him up against a wall and performing a cavity search. The victim reportedly told Officer Vagnini: "This ain't right. Call my attorney." The criminal complaint indicates Officer Vagnini was laughing -- but Attorney Chernin isn't.

"People want to talk about the Constitution meaning something -- it does. This offends the Constitution and it's serious," Chernin said.

In May, officers performed a cavity search on this victim legally -- after a judge signed a search warrant. This cavity search was performed by a physician's assistant in a hospital. The victim was convicted and is now in prison.

Another attorney representing some of the victims named in the criminal complaint -- Jonathan Safran -- told FOX6 News Tuesday he knows of other victims, and other officers not yet charged. Attorney Chernin told FOX6 News he knows of other victims as well.

CLICK HERE for more stories on the alleged illegal strip searches conducted by MPD officers.