MILWAUKEE — A cop whose fatal shooting of a black man triggered days of rioting in Milwaukee over the summer was charged with sexually assaulting a man in a separate event a day after the killing.
Authorities say Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown bragged to the victim before the alleged assault that he “was able to do whatever (he) wanted without repercussions,” the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported, citing the criminal complaint.
The document painted a picture of the 24-year-old officer as a predator who had assaulted other men after drinking and paid male prostitutes for sex.
“These are grave charges. These are charges that go to the heart of our code of conduct and our oath to protect and serve,” Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said.
Investigators say Heaggan-Brown, who is an amateur rapper, had made contact with the victim on Facebook saying he was looking for someone to make music with. The two met in person at a bar on Aug. 14, the day after Heaggan-Brown fatally shot Sylville Smith during a traffic stop.
Police say body camera footage showed Smith was armed and pointing a gun at officers when he was shot, but the killing set off long-simmering tensions among Milwaukee’s minority community about police treatment and resulted in several days of clashes.
Heaggan-Brown has not been charged in the shooting but prosecutors are still investigating. At the time, police said Officer Heaggan-Brown had left town for his own safety after receiving death threats. But in actuality, he remained in Milwaukee.
The victim, who told police he didn’t usually drink, said he sat with Heaggan-Brown, who was off-duty, at the bar watching news accounts of the shooting the day before and consumed two Long Island iced teas, three shots of Hennessy and a “pink drink.”
The man told cops he couldn’t clearly remember what happened after they left the bar, but woke up to find Heaggan-Brown raping him. The complaint said he told cops he believed he may have been drugged.
Heaggan-Brown later took the man to a hospital where he told staffers he had had too much to drink and was “completely out, zonked out of his gourd.” But the victim told hospital staff he had been raped.
After that, prosecutors say Heaggan-Brown sent a text message to a police sergeant he considered a mentor asking for help.
“Need your help big time … fucked up big time … but need to handle this the most secret and right way possible,” he wrote, according to the complaint. When he later met with the sergeant, he said the sex was consensual but that the man had been drunk.
Prosecutors allege Heaggan-Brown also assaulted another intoxicated man in his apartment on July 30, and took photos of the encounter without his consent. They also found evidence on his phone that he had hired prostitutes for sex.
Heaggan-Brown was charged with two counts of felony second-degree sexual assault, and two counts of prostitution, a misdemeanor. He also is charged with possessing a recording of nudity without consent. He was held on $100,000 bail.