MILWAUKEE (AP) — A former Milwaukee police officer who was acquitted last year in a fatal shooting that sparked two nights of riots will serve three years in prison for unrelated sex crimes.
Dominique Heaggan-Brown, 26, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty last month to three counts of soliciting prostitution and two counts of obtaining someone’s image without their consent. He also pleaded no contest to false imprisonment.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the judge also ordered Heaggan-Brown to serve three years of extended supervision after serving his prison sentence.
Under a plea deal, prosecutors dropped the most serious charges of second-degree sexual assault.
Prosecutor Erin Karshen described the former officer at his sentencing as a “manipulative narcissist” who groomed his victims through text messages and was “always pushing more and more.”
She disputed claims in some letters of support of Heaggan-Brown that suggested the investigation was tied to his sexual orientation.
“This is not a situation that’s about sexual orientation and about who’s homosexual and who’s heterosexual,” Karshen said. “This is about the defendant manipulating the situation.”
In June, a jury acquitted Heaggan-Brown for killing Sylville Smith, 23, after a brief foot chase on Aug. 13, 2016. Smith was armed, but prosecutors who charged Heaggan-Brown with first-degree reckless homicide argued the officer was unjustified in using deadly force because Smith was throwing his gun over a fence.
One of the sexual assault charges stemmed from an incident that happened one day after Smith’s shooting. The victim told police Heaggan-Brown assaulted him after a night of drinking at a bar where they watched coverage of the ongoing riots.
Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Conen said he had to sentence Heaggan-Brown based on the current charges, not the original allegations. Conen noted the shooting itself played no role in his sentencing decision. He said he found Heaggan-Brown’s actions after the shooting “concerning and disturbing.”
Heaggan-Brown’s attorney, Jonathan Smith, said it was a “very stressful and difficult situation.”
Heaggan-Brown apologized to “everyone associated with the case.” He said he took full responsibility for his actions and wanted the chance to be a father to his 5-year-old son.
Smith’s parents and estate have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city and its former officer in federal court.
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