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Ex-Kansas City Cop Sentenced To Probation After Pleading Guilty To Child Pornography Charges

Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3

Prosecutors asked for 10 years in prison for Vincent A. Spilker, 30, who pleaded guilty to two counts of child pornography. His lawyer said Spilker has “tremendous remorse and regret” and will get treatment.

A former Kansas City Police patrol officer was sentenced Thursday to probation after pleading guilty to posting child pornography photos and videos on Tumblr.

Vincent A. Spilker, 30, who pleaded guilty to two counts of child pornography on Feb.18, was sentenced by Jackson County Circuit Judge Kenneth R. Garrett III.

As part of his probation, Spilker must complete sex offender treatment, register as a sex offender, be subject to internet monitoring and have no unsupervised contact with children under 18 years of age.

Spilker surrendered his peace officer license on Feb. 17, his attorney, John O’Conner, said in court documents. The KCPD confirmed he is no longer with the department.

“Mr. Spilker accepts full responsibility for this offense,” O’Conner wrote. “He has tremendous remorse and regret for his behavior. He desires and will participate in any treatment program offered to him.”

An Independence grand jury indicted Spilker in September 2019 on five counts of child pornography. He could have received up to 15 years on each count.

The photos and video were discovered in August 2018 when Tumblr sent the images to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center then sent the “cybertip” to a detective with the Western Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force, according to court documents.

The Tumblr account was registered to “billy jean,” which Spilker said he used because he was a Michael Jackson fan, according to court documents. Detectives found 10 images of young girls in sexually suggestive poses and seven videos, including one of a male holding down and raping an 8-year-old child, who was crying, according to prosecution documents.

O’Conner said Spilker denied any contact with children and a test showed he was at a low risk for reoffending. He also showed his ability to overcome adversity in the past, before he became a police officer, when he played professional baseball for the Arizona Diamondbacks, O’Conner said.

“He injured his arm while playing baseball and was unable to continue his career path to the Major Leagues. This injury was life changing at the time and would have completely devastated most people. However, he took the initiative to follow another dream of his and became a police officer,” O’Conner said in court documents.

Now that he has resigned his peace officer license, Spilker "will never be able to work in the career he loved," O'Conner wrote.

I’m a veteran investigative reporter who came up through newspapers and moved to public media. I want to give people a better understanding of the criminal justice system by focusing on its deeper issues, like institutional racism, the poverty-to-prison pipeline and police accountability. Today this beat is much different from how reporters worked it in the past. I’m telling stories about people who are building significant civil rights movements and redefining public safety. Email me at lowep@kcur.org.
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