Probation: Ex-Edwardsville cop admits taking videos at tanning salon

News-DemocratOctober 8, 2013 

— A former police officer will receive probation for secretly videotaping women at a tanning salon with his department cellphone

Michael Collins, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized video recording, a Class 4 felony. He was originally charged with three counts, but the other two were dismissed through his plea bargain.

He was sentenced Monday to two years of probation. The highest penalty he could have received was one to three years in prison.

Collins served as an Edwardsville police officer for 15 years and was a D.A.R.E. officer in the Edwardsville school system. He held the rank of senior patrol officer with a salary of $62,800.

But on April 3, 2012, a customer at Image Sun Tanning Center reported to Glen Carbon police that Collins was taking pictures of her over the wall of an adjoining room. Glen Carbon Police turned the investigation over to Illinois State Police and the FBI, who identified at least three victims on Collins' phone.

It was not immediately known if Collins will keep his police pension. He resigned shortly after being charged. Collins had no prior criminal record.

Contact reporter Elizabeth Donald at edonald@bnd.com or 239-2507.

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