Monday, July 20, 2009

Officer Philip Spaman Arrested for Forcible Touching Child

An Ilion police officer Monday became the fifth law enforcement officer this year to face criminal charges in the Mohawk Valley.

Ilion Officer Philip Spaman, 47, of Herkimer, was arraigned in Herkimer County Court on Monday on misdemeanor charges involving the touching of a child.

He faces one count each of forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child, prosecutors said.

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Carpenter said the two misdemeanor charges against Spaman were handed up in a sealed indictment from a grand jury.

The charges stem from alleged events involving a child under the age of 17 that occurred between September 2007 and October 2008, Carpenter said.

Because of the nature of the case, no information on the victim or his or her relationship to Spaman is being released, prosecutors said.

Ilion police Chief Timothy Parisi said Monday evening that Spaman had been suspended from duty with pay while internal and criminal proceedings against him move forward. Spaman has been a member of the department for almost 8 years.

“The criminal justice system must now take its course,” Parisi said in released statement that directed additional questions to the District Attorney’s Office. “I ask that you respect the judicial process and seek no further comment from the Ilion Police Department.”

Spaman was processed by the Herkimer village police department Monday morning prior to his arraignment, Herkimer police said.

He was represented at the arraignment by attorney George Aney and pleaded not guilty to both charges, Carpenter said. Aney did not return calls Monday.

A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 5.

Earlier this year, two members of the state police and two other local police officers were charged with crimes. None of those cases has been resolved:

*State police Investigator Matthew Sullivan, who is suspended without pay, was indicted in April on 10 misdemeanor charges and traffic violations stemming from a Feb. 6 traffic stop in Trenton. The charges include driving while intoxicated, speeding, unlawfully fleeing a police officer, reckless endangerment, reckless driving, passing a red light, failure to keep right and failure to comply with a police officer.

*Trooper David Volz, who is assigned to the Herkimer state police barracks, was charged April 23 with misdemeanor petit larceny in connection with the alleged mulch theft in Rome. He was suspended without pay.

*Then-Dolgeville Officer Greg Malta Jr. was charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal mischief, after police said he drove his patrol car around the school's baseball field. Malta was fired from the force.

*Herkimer Village Police Investigator Robert Risi, an 18-year veteran, stole $9,600 from an evidence locker, prosecutors. Risi faces a felony charge of third-degree larceny. He has been suspended without pay.

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