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A former Carl Junction, MO police officer who was convicted 10 years ago of possessing child pornography faces new charges of sexual abuse against a nine-year-old girl.
On Jan. 18, Prosecutors in Barton County charged 39-year-old Seth P. Wilkins with first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse of a victim less than 12 years old, according to electronic records from the Barton County Circuit Court.
Ten years earlier, Wilkins had been convicted of possessing over 100 materials of child pornography on his personal computer. Yet the Jasper County judge assigned to his case granted him probation with a seven-year suspended sentence, according to the Joplin Globe.
Wilkins allegedly began to make inappropriate contact with the child at a residence in rural Barton County. Electronic court records show Wilkins’ attorney filed a motion to be released on bond. A judge has set a January 30 court hearing to decide on the motion.
Ex-cop charged with sexual abuse
Wilkins’ new offense highlights the disparate treatment between Black officers who are swiftly fired and charged for their misconduct and White officers who are often shielded from accountability. It also highlights the immense damage done to the community when law-breaking law enforcement officers are given lenient sentences for violent crimes.
Ten years ago, during an internal investigation into improper online chats with a minor by the Carl Junction Police Department, officers found child pornographic material on Wilkins’ personal computer. Yet Wilkins entered a plea deal in which he admitted to possessing the obscene items in exchange for a suspended sentence and probation.
Despite being listed on Missouri’s Sex Offender Registry, Wilkins was ultimately discharged from that probation in 2015, just two years after being convicted.