Man sentenced for sexual assault on child
By Eric Blaisdell
STAFF WRITER | August 26,2013
A Montpelier man has been sentenced to 12 years to life in prison for having sexual contact with a 5-year-old girl.
Gordon R. Spillman, 48, was handed the sentence as part of a deal where he pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and aggravated sexual assault, both felonies, in Washington County criminal court in Barre on Thursday. Felony charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child, possession of child pornography and promotion of a sexual recording were dismissed by the state as part of the agreement.
Before Spillman was sentenced, Deputy State’s Attorney Kristin Wood conveyed a statement from the girl’s father.
“He feels like the defendant has completely ruined his child’s innocence and trust in people. She looked at (Spillman) as a grandfather figure, someone she trusted and now she is very different. ... She’s not as happy. She’s being very tough, but she should not have had to experience this,” Wood said.
According to the Montpelier police affidavit, Spillman took nude pictures of the girl while she slept in 2011. Police also said the girl told her parents in 2012 that Spillman had touched her sexually one time when they were playing Go Fish.
Spillman told police he was interested in girls 6 to 13 years old and blamed his depression for his actions, according to court records.
Wood said the state believed a 12-years-to-life sentence was appropriate under the circumstances.
“The defendant needs to spend every day of that 12 years that he is going to spend in jail thinking about the harm that he did,” Wood said.
Spillman said he takes complete responsibility for his actions. He said he looks forward to the treatment he will receive in prison so he can understand better why he did what he did.
“I’ve always been well aware of what I was doing was wrong. ... I know that sorry will never be enough, and I have a great amount of remorse,” Spillman said.
Judge Thomas Zonay said the pre-sentence investigation contained “compelling statements” from the girl’s family about the impact the incident has had on them and what the child has gone through.
“The court recognizes that there is absolutely nothing that it can do here today that will give them back and the child back what has been taken. It would be an understatement to characterize the conduct underlying these convictions as serious and a breach of trust. The conduct involved repeated acts where you, Mr. Spillman, betrayed the trust of a young child,” Zonay said.
“(The conduct) has brought with it life-altering harm and absolutely understandable anger. To be sure, no child, no mother, no grandmother, no father, no person should have to go through what this child and her family have been subjected to,” the judge said.