Grant County Sheriff’s Deputy charged with felony child abuse, placed on administrative leave

By Tony Galli

Posted: Aug 02, 2016 3:48 PM EST Updated: Aug 17, 2016 4:50 PM EST

Deputy Vance VanKirk
Deputy Vance VanKirk

Lancaster (WKOW) – A Grant County Sheriff’s deputy has been charged with felony child abuse, and placed on administrative leave from his position.

A criminal complaint states, 47-year-old Vance VanKirk used “the belt from his duty pants” to spank one of his children in May.  The complaint states the child told school officials VanKirk told the child not to discuss what had happened.

According to the complaint, VanKirk admitted to spanking the child 4 or 5 times with his belt.  The complaint says the child was bruised.  Court records say VanKirk suspected the child had cut the hair of another child on a school bus against the child’s wishes, and the spanking with the belt was punishment.  The complaint says VanKirk later learned his child had not cut anyone’s hair.

The complaint states VanKirk told investigators his child has a history of acting out, and VanKirk worried the child’s action would escalate.
“Vance stated, when asked what led up to the spanking, enough is enough,”  according to the complaint.  “If (child) is assaulting a girl on the bus and cutting her hair, what is next?”  the complaint states.

VanKirk is scheduled to make an initial court appearance Aug. 16.  The case is being handled by Iowa County District Attorney Larry Nelson as a special prosecutor.

Sheriff Nate Dreckman says VanKirk has been with Sheriff’s department for fifteen years.

Here is the statement from the Sheriff Nate Dreckman:

The Grant County Sheriff’s Office was notified of an allegation involving Grant County Deputy Vance VanKirk and his child. Due to the matter involving a juvenile and an employee of Grant County, the investigation was turned over to the Iowa County Sheriff’s Office and the Iowa County Department of Social Services.

On August 2, 2016, the Grant County Sheriff’s Office was informed that a charge of child abuse-recklessly cause harm, a Class I felony, was filed against Vance VanKirk, by the Iowa County District Attorney’s Office, through the Grant County Circuit Court.

To protect and ensure the integrity of the Grant County Sheriff’s office, Vankirk was immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of this matter.


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