Sheriff’s sergeant faces brutality charges

One Milwaukee County Sheriff’s sergeant could find himself behind bars after being convicted of beating a prisoner placed under his watch.

Scott Krause, 38, pled no contest to charges of misdemeanor battery and felony misconduct in public office. By doing this, Krause managed to avoid a jury trial when he went before a judge last Tuesday. Krause was found guilty of both charges.

Krause was arrested on Oct. 16 after Ray Calderon, a prisoner who was being held at the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility, 949 N. 9th St., told sheriff’s department officials that Krause hit him in the face. Calderon said he was hit after he asked Krause if he could use the restroom.

Calderon’s story was verified by a squad car video camera in a jail garage area in the criminal justice facility. The camera recorded the entire incident that transpired between the two. The district attorney’s office denied requests filed by news media outlets for copies of the video.

The video reportedly shows Calderon tapping on the squad car’s window to alert Krause that he had to use the restroom. Soon after, the video shows Krause coming over to the squad car occupied by Calderon.

After Krause approaches the car, the video shows him reaching into the car and repeatedly hitting Calderon until he was knocked down on the squad car’s seat.

“It would seem that my client did nothing wrong to instigate it and the actions of the sergeant are simply incredible,” said Jonathan Safran, Calderon’s attorney, in a statement to the press at Krause’s plea hearing.

Calderon was taken into custody after he was stopped by state law enforcement in a routine traffic stop. During the stop, officials discovered that Calderon had not obtained a valid driver’s license since 2007, as he was wanted on two warrants from Winnebago County. The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department was given the task of transporting Calderon to the criminal justice facility after the traffic stop.

Calderon then served time in the Winnebago County Jail for driving a motor vehicle after his license had been revoked. He was released in November 2009.

Krause now faces the sentencing stage of his trial. He could face up to nine months behind bars for the battery charge and three and a half years for the misconduct in public office charge, potentially four years and three months total.

Because Krause pled no contest, his sentence may be lighter than the maximum prison term. However, the district attorney’s office is not showing any sign of lightening its recommendation.

“The state is recommending a prison sentence in an amount to be determined by the court,” Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Kent Lovern said at Krause’s plea hearing.

Krause is currently free on $500 bond and is still suspended with pay from the sheriff’s department. He is expected to be fired from his position and is due back in court on March 5 for sentencing.