Neighbor reacts to child porn charges brought against Allegan fire chief

ALLEGAN, Mich. — Allegan Fire District Chief Matt Gillies, who was suspended from his position pending the outcome of an ongoing criminal investigation involving child porn allegations, admitted to the charges against him according to a Michigan State Police source.

Gillies was arraigned on five charges Tuesday, including second degree criminal sexual conduct, manufacturing child sexually abusive material, possessing child sexually abusive material, and two counts of using a computer to commit a crime. All of which is shocking news for a man who says he recently bought property from Gillies.

“Our hearts go out to the children, defenseless children," says a neighbor to Gillies, who wished to remain anonymous. "And to be a grown adult and go out of your way to do such a thing it’s horrific. It’s horrific and as a parent you’re outraged.”

Police say they were led to Gillies after he used multiple accounts on the website Flickr, allegedly showing sexually abusive material that included children.

“To call yourself a civil servant, no good," the neighbor said. "We’re very outraged about it."

A source close to the investigation says Gillies admitted to using his personal phone and computer, as well as computers at the fire station, to create 3 child pornography videos; one of which shows a man performing a sexual act while a 4-year-old girl slept nearby.

“To be perfectly honest, I want him pressed to the full extent of the law," he said. "To be a public servant of your city, and to have such a title and claim, it’s mind blowing. It really is, it’s mind blowing.”

Gillies was suspended from the Allegan fire department without pay two weeks ago. He's been with the department since 2008.

This investigation comes about a month after he was promoted to fire chief.

If convicted, Gillies could serve up to 20 years in prison.

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