Prosecutor: detective had more than 100,000 images of two victim - WNEM TV 5


Prosecutor: detective had more than 100,000 images of two victims

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Brent Vanderhaar listened to the laundry list of charges against him in court on Wednesday. At his Genesee County arraignment he learned he is facing eight felony counts related to child pornography.

Vanderhaar is a retired Saginaw police detective.

Gladis Christopherson is the assistant prosecutor for Genesee County.

"I think they deserve to be treated more harshly than the general public because they've taken an oath to uphold the law," Christopherson said. "And then when you have a police officer who violates the trust of his family members it's even more serious."

She said earlier this month Vanderhaar was at a McDonald's Mobil gas station located at the intersection of M-13 and Beaver Road in Bay County's Kawkawlin Township. He was on his way back home from a deer hunting trip on Nov. 6.

Authorities said he dropped three SD digital media cards in the parking lot. The cards were found by employees. A supervisor viewed the images that appeared to show minors in compromising positions. That supervisor called police.

The acts, involving two minors, related to him by marriage, allegedly occurred inside Vanderhaar's Flint Township home. 

"There were over a 100,000 images of two victims on these three SD cards," Christopherson said.

Vanderhaar spent most of the court hearing with his head down as he listened to the judge. However, he did have a message to those he is accused of hurting.

"I've already destroyed my family with this incident and I know that going down the road it's not going to be any easier for them," Vanderhaar said.

Christopherson said she plans to prosecute Vanderhaar to the fullest extent of the law. She said the suspect will be treated just like anyone else accused of crimes against children.

"This will not be case where he gets a little slap on the wrist and is told don't do it. We are seeking prison," Christopherson said.

The next step for Vanderhaar is a competency evaluation. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 3, 2016.

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