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Farmington Hills cop charged with child porn

Posted: 1:53 PM, May 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-05-29 19:50:19-04
Farmington Hills cop charged with child porn
Farmington Hills cop charged with child porn

Striped of his badge and behind bars.

A Farmington Hills Police officer faces multiple felony sex crime charges including possession of child pornography.

Matthew Charles Parsons, 48, is charged with five counts of possession of child sexually abusive material, five charges of using a computer to commit a crime and three counts of illegally recording an individual. He was arraigned on Saturday and is being held in Oakland County Jail on a $300,000 bond.

Farmington Hills Police Chief Chuck Nebus says investigators from the Michigan Attorney General's office and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force showed up to the station on Wednesday, May 25 with search warrants.

The focus of the search, Officer Parsons, a 20 year veteran of the department.

"It was shocking that it was one of our own," says Chief Nebus.

The chief says Parsons was an officer in good standing who over the decades had received awards and commendations as well as a few complaints.

"But there was never any kind of information or tips or anything that we would have seen this coming," says Chief Nebus.

According to the Attorney General, Parsons allegedly downloaded at least 10 videos of child sexually abusive material and secretly filmed videos of a naked adult ... all on his personally owned electronic devices. Nebus says no videos were found on city owned equipment.

Those who live near Parsons Livonia home say he's only lived in the neighborhood for a couple of years and describe him as quiet and polite.

"He's very private, very private. Very. Other than hi, how are you, that's it," says Ken McCarthy.

"We didn't interact with him so it's not like our kids were in danger, but still ... it gives you a weird feeling," says Sarah Thompson. 

"You hear about it on TV and it's always far away and not near you. To have somebody that close, it's a bit disturbing," says Frank Thompson.

In the over 40 year history of the Farmington Hills Police Department, Chief Nevus says nothing like this has ever happened.

"This is the first time we've ever had this kind of tarnishment on the badge of this magnitude," he says.

"We police our own. A police officer is not above the law. This incident is not a reflection of the Farmington Hills Police Department," Nevus adds.

Police say Parsons has been placed on administrative leave and suspended without pay. An internal investigation will be done and a hearing will happen to determine his employment status.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the investigation began following a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that an individual had been downloading child sexually abusive material. The investigation lead to Parsons.

"The computer age that we live in, cyber space some people refer to as the Wild Wild West and sometimes it is. But there's a trail and law enforcement's going to follow it. It doesn't matter if you are a police officer or a private citizen, you're going to get caught," says Nebus.

Chief Chuck Nebus said in a release. "Officers shared with me that they want our residents to know that this incident is not reflective of the integrity and dedication of the officers who proudly serve and protect this community. Nothing is more important than earning and maintaining that trust."

“It is our responsibility to secure justice for Michigan’s children, our most vulnerable victims, by prosecuting predators who exploit children,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in a release. “The children in these disturbing images were abused again and again by the predators that download and trade their image.”