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Posted on Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 6:03 p.m.

Former Wolverines walk-on Mike Milano sentenced to court costs, no probation

By Art Aisner

Former University of Michigan football walk-on Michael Milano has essentially served probation for the past 13 months since being accused of attacking a hockey player during an alcohol-fueled confrontation, a Washtenaw County Circuit Court judge said today.

Judge David Swartz ruled that was enough, sentencing Milano to no jail or probation time on a misdemeanor assault conviction. Milano also can petition to have the conviction removed from his record in five years.


Mike Milano

Milano was charged with assault for throwing then fellow student athlete Steven Kampfer head-first to the ground outside the East Quad residence hall on Oct. 12, 2008.

Kampfer, a senior defenseman on U-M's hockey team, suffered a serious head injury and couldn't play for more than six weeks. Testimony during a four-day trial in October indicated the assault occurred after a heated verbal exchange between two groups of friends as they walked back from a bar.

A jury convicted Milano of aggravated assault, a high-court misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. But jurors acquitted him on one felony assault charge after hearing Milano testify he confronted Kampfer for being physically rough with an ex-girlfriend.

Milano, 23, reiterated that claim today prior to being sentenced to pay $600 in fines and costs, and a restitution amount yet to be determined.

"From day one I've told the truth," Milano said. "I'm sorry he was hurt. My only intent was to come to the aid of a girl who was being harmed."

Swartz, who indicated he would have acquitted Milano on both counts after the verdict was read, reasoned Milano expressed remorse for the assault. The judge said he agreed with probation officers who concluded he was duly punished by being suspended from the football team during his senior year.

Swartz said Milano also understandably feared for his safety after witnesses testified Kampfer, who was underage, was highly intoxicated and abusive.

"There was credible evidence that (Milano) had reason to feel threatened that the jury could have easily acquitted him," Swartz said.

He noted Kampfer left that information out of a lengthy and impassioned victim impact statement he wrote. It was read aloud by Assistant Prosecutor Paul Barnett.


Stephen Kampfer

Kampfer indicated in the letter he decided to attend classes this close to final exams rather than let Milano "take another moment of my life."

Kampfer wrote he was traumatized by the injury and feared for his life repeatedly after the assault because he couldn't turn his head when walking the streets or on campus. He suffered post-traumatic stress that manifested in panic attacks and required psychiatric therapy twice a week, he wrote.

Kampfer asked Swartz to sentence Milano to more than 10 weeks in jail - the amount of time Kampfer needed to rehab his injury - five years of probation without expungement, alcohol rehabilitation and anger management classes.

"He deserves to be taught a lesson, and if he's let go, it'll be a slap in the face to the jury," Kampfer wrote.

John Shea, Milano's attorney, said he felt like he was "in 'Alice in Wonderland'" after hearing Kampfer's request.

"Mr. Kampfer was abusing a young woman publicly, and somebody had to intervene," Shea said. "No good deed goes unpunished."

Shea argued a probation sentence would serve little purpose and pose an unnecessary burden as Milano prepares to spend the next four month working for children's organizations abroad. He has since graduated, intends to go to law school, and will likely live in his native Ohio upon his return from overseas, Shea said.

Kampfer's parents attended the proceedings and declined comment to

Art Aisner is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Wed, Jan 20, 2010 : 1:47 p.m.

Was Kampfer charged with assault (on the "girl" mentioned in the story)? And if not, why not? Sounds like this Mike Milano got off incredibly easily after brutish behavior. Look out, world.

Atticus F.

Mon, Dec 7, 2009 : 1:45 p.m.

If a woman is in an abusive relationship, it's not my job to force her out of the relationship, or to get in the middle...thats her decision to make. In my oppinion, this Kampfer guy sounds like a real sleaze ball who has had physical confrontations in the past, but that didn't give Milano the right to slam him. If you're a collegiate wrestler, you need to use some discretion before getting into a fight. Especially before slamming someone head first on the concrete. This was very irresponsible.


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 7:21 p.m.

Aggravated Assault is not a high court misdemeanor. It carries a max of 1 year in jail. A high court misdemeanor which is actually a felony carries a max of 2 years prison


Fri, Dec 4, 2009 : 10:52 a.m.

for5, here's some questions for you...why did Kampfer feel he had the right to be abusive towards a woman? Why was Kampfer out that late at night as well? As far as the MSU case, Winston was the victim the night before when the frat boys were upset he was dancing with one of their girlfriends.


Thu, Dec 3, 2009 : 8:18 p.m.

I am shocked to hear that Judge David Swartz let off Mike Milano with not even a hand slap. Mike Milano assalted senior Michigan Hockey player, Steven Kampfer. Shame on our judicial system for not working. It sickens me to think that a man can body slam another human being from behind, leave him laying on the ground with blood coming out of his mouth, that is unconscious, walk away from the victim, with his brother by his side (whom is a teacher), change clothes, go have pizza, and feel he has protected an innocent girl that was not present at the scene where the encounter took place. This young man ended up with a broken skull fracture. The Judge did not take into account the actual witnesses that were brought here to testify on what they actually saw. Each had a similar story on what happened, so what went wrong with this case. The proscutor and witnesses told the truth and all the stories were accurate. Why did the defense stories vary along the way? How can you not tell the truth when on the stand and get by with it! Why didn't the football players show up in the courtroom to offer support to their team mate that was on trial? The hockey players showed up to support their team mate whom was the victim! The kids know right from wrong so why didn't the Judge hearing this case? This was not a case where a girl needed protection and we all know it. If she needed so much protection why does the victim, Steve Kampfer and she still remain friends? What was Mike Milano doing out that late at night, perhaps going for cookies and milk at the local market? Let's all stop and think of the ways you can over power a Judge? Let all who read this article think twice next time this judge runs for re-election. MSU and the football players are in a difficult position today because they reinstated players after an assult and now another assult has occurred. Another person has become a victim at MSU, because a man was allowed to walk. Mike Milano has been allowed to walk because a Judge did not listen, it's not because his Dad lead the defense, it's because the Judge did not focus on right from wrong. The juriors came back with a verdict, but the Judge did not listen. WHY! Shame on our system. Let's all hope someone else doesn't call Mike Milano a name or two. He can't handle words.