Officer that shot man, sparking Milwaukee riots is accused of sexual assault

Milwaukee police Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown faces sexual assault and prostitution charges. (Provided Photo/Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office)
Milwaukee police Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown faces sexual assault and prostitution charges. (Provided Photo/Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office)

(CNN) — The Milwaukee police officer involved in a fatal shooting that sparked days of protests in the city in August has been arrested on sexual assault and prostitution charges, police said Thursday.

A man told police that Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown sexually assaulted him while off-duty two days after the August 13 shooting death of Sylville Smith, a 23-year-old black man who police said was armed during a lethal confrontation that started with a traffic stop.

Heaggan-Brown has been suspended from the force and remains in custody, according to a police statement. It’s not clear whether he has an attorney.

Heaggan-Brown, 24, is accused of sexually assaulting the man after a night of drinking at a bar, where they watched TV news coverage of the protests in the Sherman Park neighborhood in the early hours of August 15, according to a criminal complaint.

After the alleged sexual assault at the officer’s home, Heaggan-Brown took the man to a hospital and said he was “completely out, zonked out of his gourd” after a night of drinking, the complaint said.

Later, after seeing Heaggan-Brown in the emergency room, the man told hospital workers, “He raped me,” according to the complaint.

Heaggan-Brown is charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault, two counts of prostitution and one count of capturing an intimate representation without consent. He’s accused of offering money to two other men for sex at his home, the complaint said.

An investigation into the sexual assault allegation resulted in the Milwaukee County district attorney’s office filing the criminal complaint Wednesday, police said.

In addition to a criminal investigation, the internal affairs division will also review the case.

Milwaukee, a city long torn by racial tensions, exploded with protests in August after Smith was shot after running from police during a traffic stop. Heaggan-Brown is also African-American.

For two nights, protesters torched a half-dozen businesses, smashed cars and hurled rocks at police.

Heaggan-Brown rose from a police apprenticeship program to became a cop on the rough-and-tumble streets of the city’s northwest side.

After the shooting, the officer’s name and photo were widely circulated on social media, with angry comments from people threatening to have him killed.

Some online posters described encounters with what they said was an overzealous officer.

Heaggan-Brown has six years of service with the Milwaukee police — three as an officer, officials said. He entered the department as part of an apprentice program that recruits high school students and requires they complete college credits.

He was assigned to District 7 on Milwaukee’s northwest side.

Heaggan-Brown was placed on administrative duty during an investigation into the August shooting.

After the shooting, Mayor Tom Barrett said police body camera footage showed Smith holding a handgun during the encounter. That video has not been released.

Police said the officer shot Smith after he failed to comply with orders to put his gun down, which was loaded with 23 rounds — more than the officer was carrying.

CNN’s Jamiel Lynch contributed to this report.