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Former Ipswich police officer sentenced to two years probation

Ipswich police officer Peter Nikas (left) walked to a holding cell while awaiting bail arrangements at Newburyport District Court in August 2014.Kirk R. Williamson/AP/File

A former Ipswich police officer was sentenced to two years of probation on Tuesday after he pleaded guilty to charges that he assaulted a fellow officer and damaged a screen door during an off-duty encounter in October 2013.

Under an agreement reached with Essex County prosecutors, Peter E. Nikas, brother of Ipswich police Chief Paul A. Nikas, agreed not to work as a police officer again, remain alcohol free, and complete a batterer intervention program.

In exchange, prosecutors said they would not proceed with charges against Nikas alleging that he attacked his girlfriend and intimidated a witness in the case — a felony charge, according to a sentencing memorandum filed in Salem District Court.


Nikas, 53, was accused of attacking his girlfriend and then struggling with Ipswich police Officer Mark Ruggiero in an attempt to get into the home where his girlfriend had fled on Oct. 27 and 28 of 2013.

Nikas has not worked as a police officer since November 2013, a town official has said. Town Manager Robin Crosbie said Nikas was on paid administrative leave during that time. She could not say Wednesday how much Nikas was paid during that period.

Nikas, who had been a sergeant, retired at the rank of patrol officer on April 1, Crosbie said.

Defense lawyer Nicole Reilly said she does not believe Nikas’s guilty pleas will affect his ability to collect his full pension.

Ipswich belongs to the Essex Regional Retirement Board, which estimates Nikas’s yearly allowance would be $45,000 annually, though the final figure has not been determined, board attorney Michael Sacco said.

Nikas’s brother, the Ipswich police chief, said in a statement that he has “always instructed my officers and investigators to treat every case equally, regardless of those involved.”

Laura Crimaldi can be reached at laura.crimaldi@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @lauracrimaldi.