Joshua Spratt is charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual acts
Joshua Spratt was a decorated cop.
The 34-year-old had served on the police force in Watervliet, New York, for a decade. For the past two years, he was a student resource officer at Watervliet High School. He was a married father of three.
But now, Spratt is accused of using his position to have sex with two teen girls, ages 16 and 17.
According to the indictment, Spratt is accused of meeting the 16-year-old for sex at two nearby cemeteries. He’s also accused of having a sexual encounter in the parking lot of an elementary school.
Spratt was charged with four felony counts of criminal sexual act in the third degree. He was also charged with two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct, and a count of endangering the welfare of a minor, a press release from the Albany County District Attorney’s office says.
Because 17 is the age of consent in New York, the official misconduct charges were for his contact with the older girl. The case has been turned over to state police for investigation.
Officials at the Watervliet High School expressed their shock at the allegations. “The charges against Officer Spratt are devastating, and if true, represent an egregious and unforgivable betrayal of the trust we all placed in him,” the school said in a statement.
“As always, our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of students. Our focus over the next few weeks will be helping them to come to terms with this betrayal.”
If he’s convicted, Spratt faces up to 16 years in prison for the felony charges. He has pleaded not guilty and was released on $50,000 bail.
At a press briefing, District Attorney David Soares told reporters that more charges are possible, adding that the investigation has uncovered “phone communications, text communications and videos.”
“If there are other victims out there,” Soares continued, “I hope that we create an environment where those people can come forward.”
After the arraignment, Spratt’s attorney Andrew Safranko told reporters that his top priority was to get his client out of jail. “We wanted to get him home to his family,” Safranko said. “And now we can work on his defense.”
Safranko tells PEOPLE that the public should not rush to judgment of his client. “The case is new at this point, so I can’t get into specifics,” Safranko says. “I haven’t been provided any of the text messages, videos or other messaging yet, so I can’t comment about those.”
“But what needs to go out there is that he was a 10-year officer who was beloved, both inside and outside the department,” Safranko continues. “By all accounts, he was a great officer, and he spent 12 years in the Army reserve. He was honorably discharged. He has spent the better part of his life protecting people. Let’s wait until all the facts come out; that’s all I ask.”
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