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UPDATE: JBLM soldier accused of illicit online contact with teenage girls in Pierce County

Post by Christian Hill / The News Tribune on May 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm with 10 Comments »
May 4, 2012 6:32 pm

UPDATE: A 24-year-old soldier from Joint Base Lewis-McChord is under investigation for extortion and distribution of child pornography involving at least 10 teenage girls in Pierce County in a case that mostly involved online communication, the Washington State Patrol said Friday.

The patrol’s missing and exploited child task force began the investigation in late April after a parent of a high school student alleged the soldier demanded nude photographs of the teenage girl during online conversations.

The ages of the victims are between 13 and 17 years old.

“The investigation is very early on, it’s basically in its infancy, and there are many more witnesses to be interviewed,” state patrol Lt. Ron Mead said.

The task force reported the soldier began communicating with his alleged victims 10 months before he deployed to Afghanistan and continued while he was overseas. Mead said most of the contact between the soldier and alleged victims occurred mostly online, but the soldier in two cases met with girls. He declined to provide details about those encounters.

The soldier’s name and unit were not released.

A Lewis-McChord spokesman referred questions to the Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the command, confirmed an investigation is ongoing, and its investigators are working closely with the Washington State Patrol. Any additional information would come from the state patrol, he said

Grey said the soldier is still in the Army, but he declined to provide any further information. The patrol said the soldier’s computer access has been restricted.

The patrol asks anyone with information about the case to call the task force’s detectives at 360-704-2400.

ORIGINAL POST: A Washington State Patrol task force is investigating a deployed Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier for having inappropriate communication with underage girls in the state, a patrol spokesman confirmed today.

Spokesman Bob Calkins said the patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children Task Force has started its investigation and may provide additional details later this afternoon.

KIRO-TV, which first reported the investigation, quoted an unnamed source saying the soldier contacted many of the girls using Facebook while he served in Afghanistan. He offered money and later blackmailed girls who sent him topless photos and danced in revealing clothing over the Internet. The number of girls is not known at this time, Calkins told The News Tribune.

The arrangement went on for months, the source told KIRO, until one girl refused to continue participating. She told her parents who in turn contacted authorities. No one has been arrested or charged.

A Lewis-McChord spokesman referred questions to the Army Criminal Investigation Command.

Christopher Grey, a spokesman for the command, confirmed it has an ongoing investigation and its investigators are working closely with the Washington State Patrol. Any additional information would come from the state patrol, he said.

Grey said the soldier is still in the Army, but he declined to provide any further information.

We’ll post more information when it becomes available.

Follow me on Twitter @TNTchill

Leave a comment Comments → 10
  1. TheSlag says:

    Sex crimes involving JBLM folk? You don’t say!

  2. kluwer says:

    So you have to wonder just whats going on in today’s military.

  3. NineInchNachosII says:

    will his family get to march in next daffodil parade?

  4. tacomajoe says:

    Go Army!

  5. jeffm209 says:

    TWO headline stories involving the misdeeds of JBLM soldiers.
    Hey, BlaineCGarver… Think they’ll get a hattrick?

  6. GeronimoV says:

    Well, when you lower the standards for recruitment, rotate servicemen and women for multiple deployments for years on end, pay them just enough to waste on bad habits but not enough to pursue a post-military education or career, what do you expect? These mercenary dregs are smearing all of our returning troops with the same nasty brush. It’s a damned shame. JBLM has become a national disgrace.

  7. stopcomplainin says:

    Ok all of you who are “dissing” the Army. Where are your comments when hundreds more Civilians commit these crimes? No where are you? Stop slamming the military every chance you get. Start looking at yourselves, because, well, our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines all from from the same place…the Civilian population.

    For every one military member that commits a crime, 100,000 civilians commit a crime as well.

    Stop the Soldier bashing. And before you all start posting stuff about me, No, what he did is wrong, and I do not condone this type of behavior in anyone, Soldier or civilian.

  8. stopcomplainin says:

    Look at all these headlines not involving miltary members at all:

    Baby dies after left in the back of hot pickup truck

    Probation charge dropped against tanned NJ mom

    May Day protesters jailed after court appearances

    Suspect arrested in theft of Miss Washington’s crown, gowns

    Shoreline mother in Amber Alert on the run

    WSP completes investigation of Snohomish Co. Executive

    Police arrest suspect in UPS campus shooting

  9. NineInchNachosII says:

    when our brave heroes do bad things, look away child… look away.

  10. passingtheword says:

    The military is merely a reflection on our society. Yes, there are some bad people in the military, just as there are some bad people in our society. The percentage of offenders in the military, I believe, is lower than in the civilian population. It makes no sense to say all soldiers or all of JBLM are miscreants because of a few bad apples. These generalizations only cause tension when discussion issues much more complex than a five second sound-byte. Our soldiers deserve respect and thanks for the sacrifices they make and all they do for us and the world. The bad apples should be weeded out, just as they should in our civilian population.

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