Jack Van Matre (facebook photo)

A retired Springfield police officer, who was arrested at his own wedding reception last weekend, has found himself on the wrong side of the law.

Greene County prosecutors have charged Jack B. Van Matre, 54, with first-degree felony violation of privacy. Van Matre retired as a Springfield patrol officer in November 2006.

Police transported Van Matre's from the wedding reception to his home at 4002 West Page on October 7th after a 14 year-old girl living in the home found a video camera in a bathroom and another in a bedroom.  The girl took a picture of the camera's with her cell phone and contacted her biological father, who then called authorities, according to the probable cause statement.
Court records say that police officers found two cameras that were connected wirelessly to Van Matre's laptop computer that were hidden behind fake air vents.
After Van Matre consented to the search of his home and gave officers the password to his computer, officers watched part of one video that showed a partially naked teen in the bathroom. According to court documents, when the teen left, Van Matre entered the bathroom "and looked directly at the camera and smiled before walking out."

Van Matre told police he "found the teen attractive and viewed her as an adult female and was attracted to her as an adult," according to court records. He also admitted the videos amounted to "voyeurism" and child pornography.
As he was read his rights his demeanor changed according to the probable cause statement, "His eyes glassed over, he lowered his head and it appeared as though the words were painful for him to hear and had a drastic impact on his emotional state of mind."  At one point during the search of his home Van Matre told Officer Dan Rankey, "Just put a bullet in my head.  I know I wanted to when I worked calls like this."
Van Matre's wife told authorities she feared for her husband's well being because, "He said he would harm himself before being exposed publicly in this matter."

The former cop told investigators that he installed the camera's in August or September of 2011.  When asked why he had installed them Van Matre replied, "I'd say mental illness, wouldn't you."

After Van Matre retired from the police force, he opened a budoir photography business in downtown called, "Behind The Red Door," and now has a website as a wedding photographer.  Authorities won't say specifically if they are looking into anything to do with Van Matre's business, "We have a lengthy investigation in front of us," said public information officer Cpl. Matt Brown.

Van Matre was booked into the Greene County jail where he was later released after posting $20,000 bond. Part of the condition of the bond were that he surrender all of his weapons.  He was also ordered not to have any contact with anyone under the age of 17 and have no access to the Internet.

Typically crimes related to child pornography are usually handled in federal court - as of Wednesday afternoon no federal charges had been filed against Van Matre.
UPDATE 06-01-12:

Jack Van Matre (mug shot GCSO)

A retired Springfield police will spend at least 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to two charges of sexually exploiting a minor.

Jack Van Matre, 55, of Springfield, was originally charged in state court after authorities found hidden video cameras behind a mirror and in fake duct work in the bedroom and bathroom of a 14 year-old girl living in Van Matre's home at 4002 West Page.

By pleading guilty, Van Matre, who retired from the SPD in 2006, admitted that he used the girl to produce child pornography on two separate occasions between Aug. 1, and Oct. 7, 2011.

According to court documents, the 14-year-old discovered hidden video cameras and alerted her father, who then called police.

Investigators also found sexually explicit video's of the girl on Van Matre’s computer, which was connected wirelessly to the hidden camera's.

According to court documents, Van Matre told police that two cameras discovered by the girl were wirelessly connected to a laptop in his bedroom, and gave authorities the necessary passwords to access the files.

The former cop told investigators that he installed the camera's in August or September of 2011. When asked why he had installed them Van Matre replied, "I'd say mental illness, wouldn't you."

According to federal court documents, Van Matre was accused of sexual misconduct with children in 1999 and 2000 while he was still a cop. However, no charges were ever brought against him at that time.

After Van Matre, who was arrested at his wedding reception, retired from the police force he opened "Behind The Red Door,"a boudoir photography business in downtown Springfield and also worked as a wedding photographer.

Under federal statutes, Van Matre is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to 60 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000.
UPDATE 11-01-12:

Van Matre was sentenced to 19 years and seven months without parole. According to federal prosecutors, during the course of the investigation, officers learned that Van Matre had been the subject of two separate investigations for sexually assaulting three prepubescent foster children over the course of six years.


Anonymous said...

You should consider taking this guys DOB and SOC out of the PC statement. Sounds like he has enough problems to worry about...I'd hate to see identity theft on top of everything else.

Anonymous said...

Doubt anyone wants it as he will likely be a registered sex offender soon.

Anonymous said...

I was going to have a photo shoot done at the red door photography for my boyfriend. I had to place a deposit down to even make an appointment, and now i cannot receive my money back. Guess its a blessing i didnt get my pictures done by a pervert. I did speak with a detective and he said that Van Matre is still aloud to opperate his photography business while out on bail. Why would a judge allow this under these perverted circumstances?

Anonymous said...

How did he get bailed out so quickly?Did Van Matre's brother get the 20 grand for him?

Kathee Baird said...

I can't remember if it was a cash only bond or cash or surety. If it was the latter he only needed $2,000 to post bond.


Anonymous said...

As an ex springfield police officer,i never did like him. I always thought he was a strange person. What a dishonor to the badge.