Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sailor Sentenced to 4 yr 6 mo for Child Porn.

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va.(11 Jun '08) — Petty Officer 3rd Class Jeremiah James was sentenced to four-and-a-half years in the brig Monday, 10 June, for possessing child pornography while at sea, and for later breaking into female berthing on base while under investigation in the child porn case.
In lieu of trial, Gas Turbine System Technician 3rd Class James, 24, pleaded guilty to a charge of unlawful entry into a building with intent to rape and one specification of a charge of possessing a computer “that contained images of child pornography” during his general court-martial. As part of the plea deal, the prosecution dropped a second specification of the child porn charge that involved transporting the images across borders.
He was sentenced by Capt. David Bailey to 4½ years’ confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1 and dishonorable discharge.
The pornography was found on Petty Officer James’ shipboard computer while he was deployed aboard the destroyer Winston S. Churchill.
Government lawyer Lt. Sean Thompson said that after the images were discovered, James was sent back to Norfolk in January while the ship was in Bahrain.
While that matter was being investigated, James was housed at the transient personnel unit at Naval Station Norfolk. On March 8, he climbed up a ventilation system at the TPU and through an open second-story window in female berthing, he admitted in court. When asked his intent upon entering the room at 0200, he said, using vulgar terms, that he planned to rape a woman he knew to be sleeping there, after silencing her by stuffing a sock in her mouth.
He said he was “not drinking” at the time.
Petty Officer James also admitted downloading at least 24 sexually explicit images of children from the Internet. He pleaded guilty to a specification that his possession of child pornography was “prejudicial to the good order and discipline.” When asked what he thought that meant, he said his actions could make the Navy look bad to the public and could have upset his shipmates.
“If anybody saw the pictures, they could be mentally damaged,” he said. “I think it would make the crew angry, and there’s a possibility of violence.”
Thompson said seven of the children depicted in the photos were identified in a database maintained by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
Though he could not comment on the specifics of this case, John Shehan, director of exploited child services at the center said, “We do provide identification services for law enforcement.”
Shehan said a child who has been identified has met with law enforcement and is no longer experiencing “active abuse.”
In an unsworn statement read in court, Petty Officer James apologized for his behavior and said, “I hold myself accountable.”
James has been undergoing voluntary drug therapy in recent weeks, according to a Navy doctor who testified.
During the Extenuation and Mitigation phase (E&M) of the Court-martial, Petty Officer James was described as an “exceptional sailor” according to personnel evaluations entered into the court record. He was entitled to wear the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and other decorations.
James faced a maximum of 25 years’ confinement.

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