Former police officer sentenced on child porn charges - WNEM TV 5

Former police officer sentenced on child porn charges

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Brent Vanderhaar appears in court during his sentencing on March 6, 2017. (Source: WNEM) Brent Vanderhaar appears in court during his sentencing on March 6, 2017. (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

A retired Mid-Michigan police officer who plead guilty to child porn charges after more than 100,000 images were found on his computer was sentenced on Monday.

Brent Vanderhaar, a former Saginaw police detective, entered a guilty plea on Jan. 24 for possession of child sexually abusive material and using a computer to do a crime.

Vanderhaar was arrested on his way home from a deer hunting trip in Nov. of 2015 after three SD cards were found at a McDonald’s Mobile gas station, located at the intersection of M-13 and Beaver Road in Bay County's Kawkawlin Township.

Investigators said Vanderhaar stopped at the gas station and dropped the cards which were later found by store employees.

A manager viewed the images that appeared to show minors in compromising positions and contacted police.

Officials said during earlier court proceedings that the images involved two minors, related to him by marriage.

Their mother, Vanderhaar's former wife, said he used his position as a family member to steal their innocence.

"You took advantage of my entire world. Those girls are my world. All they wanted was a happy house. All they wanted was to feel safe, especially in their own home. You violated them in ways I never thought you were capable of," she said.

Vanderhaar apologized in court and to the family.

"I wake up with shame and regret that I'm going to carry for the rest of my life. Everything I had is gone and there's nothing I can do to get it back," he said.

The victims' mother said she has forgiven him because she doesn't want feelings of anger and hate for the rest of her life.

"I don't hate you, not even a little bit. I hurt for you and I hurt for your children," she said.

Vanderhaar was sentenced to one year in county jail with credit for 365 days already served. He was also given five years probation.

He is not to have contact with any girl under the age of 18 nor if he allowed to own a camera of any kind, including a camera phone.

The judge told Vanderhaar if he doesn't comply with the rules he will go to prison.

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