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Former Farmington Hills cop sentenced to prison

Candice Williams
The Detroit News

A longtime Farmington Hills police officer who pleaded guilty to child pornography charges was sentenced Wednesday to prison.

Matthew Parsons, 48, expressed remorse and asked Oakland County Chief Circuit Judge Nanci Grant for leniency. He was sentenced to up to seven years in prison.

He said that prison time would not “help me seek the help that I need. That I agree that I need. I’m very sorry for everything that I did.”

Parsons pleaded guilty last month to three felony charges: possession of child sexually abusive material, using a computer to commit a crime and recording an unclothed person, authorities said.

An investigation into Parsons began after a tip that he had downloaded at least 10 videos with the explicit imagery and “surreptitiously filmed an adult in the nude,” according to state officials.

Parsons had a 25-year history with the Farmington Hills Department and worked for the patrol division. Following the allegations, Parsons resigned from the department on June 15.

On Wednesday, Grant told Parsons that people in positions of trust “are held to a higher standard, whether anyone thinks it’s fair or unfair ... These kind of cases fortunately are rare. It puts judges in a difficult position.”

Grant considered that Parsons would have to be segregated for his safety while serving jail time. The judge said that being in possession of child sexually abusive material is not a victimless crime “because somebody is going to be exploited.”

Parsons must register as a sex offender for 15 years and cannot work as a law enforcement officer in Michigan, according to officials.

cwilliams@detroitnews.com

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