KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker filed multiple charges Thursday against an officer with the Kansas City Police Department in connection with possessing child pornography.
Vincent A. Spilker, 29, faces five felony counts of possessing child pornography.
According to charging documents, Tumblr sent a tip to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that contained 32 photos and one video. Ten of those photos contained nude females who appeared to be underage. Tumblr also included an IP address that ultimately led them to Spilker.
“It should be noted that the information provided by Tumblr was just a sampling and not a complete list of the images that were on the Tumblr page,” charging documents said.
Spilker admitted to investigators that he did repost pictures of nude and partially nude females on the account.
“Spilker said he knew reposting the pictures was wrong and he did not want to be the kind of person who shared pictures of nude young girls,” charging documents said.
Spilker is not currently behind bars. Prosecutors have requested a warrant for his arrest.
Shortly after releasing the charges on Friday, the Kansas City Police Department released the following statement:
The Jackson County Prosecutor today charged Kansas City Missouri Probationary Police Officer Vincent Spilker with five counts of possession of child pornography. Probationary Officer Spilker has been suspended from duty without pay. He graduated from the Kansas City Regional Police Academy on Jan. 17, 2019. The Platte County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Any questions regarding the case should be directed to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.
Linsey Olson, executive director of the Exploited Child Division at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said they get more than 18 million tips each year on posts like these, and 99% of the reports come from websites like Facebook, Tumblr and other social media sites.
“Photo sharing, the hosting, social media are the types of companies that are the ones that are making the majority of the cyber tip line reports to the cyber tip line,” Olson said. “Sure, it’s surprising to think of, I think, what we think of these very public type platforms and sites being used in this way.”
Olson said many times the children that are depicted or posed in these photos are abused by the same people you would expect to protect them.
“From what we’ve seen typically, those children are being abused by people who have legitimate access to them,” Olson said. “So whether it’s a family member, or a close family friend, or someone that they know in real life that has that access in order to abuse the child and then can manipulate or use whatever tactics they use to keep the child from speaking up that’s one thing, but also thinking of all the different technologies out there and how children and teens have their phones, and they’re online. They’re communicating with each other, and they’re communicating with others, and that really opens up a world of possibility and opportunity for these offenders.”