updated 11/29/2010 6:50:59 PM ET 2010-11-29T23:50:59

A man who was arrested by police has accused an officer of confiscating his cell phone and forwarding sexually explicit personal photos to himself and at least one other person.

A lawsuit filed in federal court alleges Officer Michael Presti forwarded e-mails containing racy photographs and videos of William Vasilakos and his girlfriend.

Presti, reached at his home Monday, said the matter had been resolved internally by police, and he declined to comment further. Stamford police did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

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An attorney for Vasilakos, Norman Pattis, said the episode was deeply embarrassing for the couple.

"They were deeply in love and they had memorialized that love in a way that they thought was appropriate, and the officer treated them like a couple of porn stars," said Pattis, who is seeking unspecified damages.

Presti arrested the 39-year-old Vasilakos on a breach-of-peace charge in Stamford on Aug. 16, 2008, and he was held in custody overnight. According to the federal complaint, Presti kept the phone with him instead of leaving it with the police department, then forwarded eight messages to his own phone.

Vasilakos was outraged when he later saw the material had been sent to an address he did not recognize, Pattis said.

The lawsuit was filed Wednesday in U.S. district court. Vasilakos is a plaintiff along with his girlfriend at the time, Maria Saltsides. The only defendant named in the suit is Presti.

Pattis said Stamford police investigated Presti's conduct and there were disciplinary proceedings, but he was not aware of the outcome.

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