|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.
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.