20-year Veteran of Farmington Hills Police Dept. Facing Prison Time for Child Porn

Matthew Parsons, a 48-year-old former Farmington Hills police officer who worked in law enforcement for 20 years, is now facing up to 7 years in prison after pleading guilty to possession of child sexually abusive material, using a computer to commit a crime, and recording an unclothed person. Parsons was initially charged with 13 counts of sex related crimes, however 10 of the charges were dropped in a deal made with the Attorney General’s Office according to news reports. Parsons is required to register as a sex offender for 15 years as part of his plea agreement. iStock_000000182036XSmall-300x224

Parsons is accused of using a camera disguised as a clock to photograph a friend’s 20-year-old daughter and possession of child pornography. He has requested his sentence be no longer than 12 months, and while his defense lawyer claims Parsons has mental health issues, the defendant said this is no excuse for his actions. Parsons said that any sentence beyond 12 months would prevent him from seeking the help he agrees he needs for his mental issues, and pleaded with the court to help him move forward. He expressed remorse before Judge Nanci Grant handed down his sentence in Oakland County Circuit Court.

At the time Parsons allegedly hung a camera in the bathroom of a friend’s home, he was renting the basement of the home. Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus said that while Parsons was on the job at the police department, no crimes were committed. Nebus went on to say that the department worked hand-in-hand with the attorney general’s investigation, and fully cooperated.

Parsons was charged with the sex and computer crimes in May, and resigned his position on June 15 after being suspended without pay following the charges.

Individuals who are charged with possessing child pornography may face up to four years in prison along with fines of up to $10,000 if found guilty. However, if a person distributes or promotes materials that depict children (someone younger than 18) in a sexually abusive situations, the punishment increases to up to seven years in prison and/or $50,000 in fines.

No one wants to spend time in prison, although four or seven years may not seem like a lengthy term when compared to 20 years or life. That said, for most defendants who are either found guilty by a jury or judge or who plead guilty, the requirement to register as a sex offender is often the most devastating punishment of all.

Those labeled as sex offenders are under very strict rules when it comes to where they live, work, and more. Sex offenders must notify law enforcement when they change jobs or addresses – and even finding employment can be extremely difficult when you’re a convicted felon. Perhaps worst of all for sex offenders? Being shunned by society and looked down upon as though you are a monster.

Some offenders truly ARE monsters, but there are thousands more who are innocent of the allegations leveled against them, or who are punished for decades or even a lifetime for engaging in sexual relations they believed to be consensual at the time. Sadly, false allegations are made all too often.

Regardless of the situation or circumstances, it is imperative to work with an experienced and aggressive Michigan sex crimes attorney when you’re facing charges that could literally ruin your life.