Separate trial ordered for police officer

Feb. 5, 2013 at 3:30 PM

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 5 (UPI) -- A Milwaukee police officer will be tried for sexual assault and illegal body searches separately from three fellow officers facing similar counts.

Prosecutors agreed Michael Vangini's trial, on 25 counts, will begin April 29, and the trials of co-defendants Jeffrey Dollhopf, Brian Kozelek and Jacob Knight will begin June 3, the Milwaukee journal Sentinel reported Tuesday.

Attorneys for two co-defendants requested their cases be severed from that of Vangini, noting none of the three are charged with sexual assault, only with misconduct in office and being parties to the crimes of illegal searches. The allegations of their crimes are based on their on-duty presence when prosecutors say Vangini committed his alleged crimes, they said.

All four officers were charged in October and have been suspended without pay, the newspaper said.

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