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What you need to know for 06/28/2017

Former Watervliet officer sentenced for sex acts with minor

Former Watervliet officer sentenced for sex acts with minor

A former Watervliet police school officer who admitted in court to sex acts with a 16-year-old girl
Former Watervliet officer sentenced for sex acts with minor
Former Watervliet Police Officer Joshua Spratt, right, with his attorney Andrew Safranko in Albany County Court, Jan. 7, 2015. Spratt received an agreed upon six-month sentence for sex acts involving a 16-year-old girl.
Photographer: Steven Cook / Daily Gazette

A former Watervliet police school officer who admitted in court to sex acts with a 16-year-old girl received a sentence of six months in jail this morning in a case where the judge said the officer only served himself.

Joshua Spratt, 34, of New Scotland, apologized to the court, his family and his department during this morning's proceedings.

"I loved working there," Spratt said of his 10 years in the Watervliet Police Department. "I brought disgrace to the department."

Spratt pleaded guilty earlier to third-degree criminal sexual act, a felony. In exchange, he accepted an agreed-upon six months in jail and 10 years probation.

Justice Thomas Breslin approved the sentence, but said he did so reluctantly. The judge also referenced the overarching police motto "to protect and serve."

"Here," the judge said, "you protected no one and you served yourself."

Police arrested Spratt in July on multiple charges related to allegations he engaged in sexual acts with a 16-year-old on four occasions between Feb. 14 and April 10, 2015 in Watervliet and Menands.

Spratt served as school resource officer assigned to the Watervliet City School District for two years, the district confirmed in a statement on its website.

Breslin referenced the girl in going along with the plea bargain.

"This is a plea bargain that saved a young woman from having to testify in open court," Breslin said. "It is with utmost reluctance that I'm going to abide by the plea bargain."

The Albany County District Attorney's Office prosecuted. Attorney Andrew Safranko represented Spratt.

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