MPD officer accused of illegal strip searches gets plea deal

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by Chris Patterson

MILWAUKEE -- There will be no trial for Milwaukee Police Officer Michael Vaginini, the man at the center of the illegal strip search scandal. A Milwaukee County judge accepted an agreement between the state prosecutor and the defense attorney.

Vagnini also accepted the negotiation and plead no contest to eight counts, four felonies and four misdemeanors. Among the charges dropped were sexual assault charges that would force Vaginini to register as a sex offender.

On at least four occasions, Vaginini made illegal strip searches during traffic stops. He's also accused of conducting illegal strip searches at the District 5 police station in front of other officers.

Prosecutors say they weren't sure victims would come forward and testify in court, because they were embarrassed about what happened.

Vagnini faces almost 15 years in prison and/or $40,000 in fines. Vaginini will be back in court for sentencing on June 21st.

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