MILWAUKEE- A suspended police officer and former officer agreed Thursday to plead guilty to federal civil rights charges in the beating of a biracial man that inflamed racial tensions in the city, according to Department of Justice documents.
Suspended police officer Joseph Schabel agreed to plead guilty to violating the civil rights of Frank Jude Jr., 28, by assaulting him, and to obstruction of justice. Schabel kicked Jude in the head during an October 2004 party but denied it repeatedly in sworn statements and testimony, the criminal complaint said.
Jon Clausing, a former Milwaukee police officer, agreed to plead guilty to conspiring with other off-duty officers to violate the civil rights of Jude and another man, Lovell Harris, by assaulting them at the party.
Schabel faces up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Clausing faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Jude has said a group of white men who identified themselves as off-duty police officers kicked and punched him, put a knife to his throat and jammed a pen in his ears as he begged for mercy outside a party at an officer's house.
The men accused the 27-year-old of stealing a police badge, but no badge was found and he was not charged with theft.
The Milwaukee Police Department disciplined 13 officers after the beating. County prosecutors criminally charged three of them - Jon Bartlett, Daniel Masarik, and Andrew Spengler, but an all-white jury found them not guilty on all but one charge in April. It reached no verdict on a substantial battery charge against Bartlett.
Jude is being held at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution after having his parole revoked last November because of a domestic dispute with his mother.