The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

January 28, 2013

Ex-Carl Junction officer draws probation for child-porn conviction

By Jeff Lehr
wkennedy@joplinglobe.com

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Jasper County judge Monday granted a former Carl Junction police officer a suspended sentence and probation on a conviction for possession of child pornography.

Seth P. Wilkins, 29, pleaded guilty to the charge in November in a plea deal with the Jasper County prosecutor’s office that limited the prison time he might be assessed to five years. Circuit Judge David Dally assessed Wilkins seven years at a sentencing hearing Monday, but suspended execution of the sentence and placed him on supervised probation for five years.

Wilkins was charged in 2010 after an internal investigation by the Carl Junction Police Department of alleged improper online chats with a minor turned up evidence of child pornography on the officer’s personal computer.

According to a probable-cause affidavit, Carl Junction police Chief Delmar Haase asked the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force to look into the matter when several suspected video files of child pornography were found on Wilkins’ computer.

The defendant admitted downloading about 100 such videos from the Internet since 2004 using file-sharing software, according to court records.