From AF Times, here:

A military judge has convicted a Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., lieutenant colonel of indecent acts with a child younger than 16, possession of child pornography and violating no-contact orders.

James W. Richards, who chose to be tried by a judge rather than a jury during a three-day court-martial that ended Feb. 21, was sentenced to 17 years in a military prison, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and dismissal from the Air Force, a base news release said. Dismissal is the officer equivalent of a dishonorable discharge.

The Bay County, Fla., sheriff’s office arrested Richards, 40, in November 2011 for traveling to meet a minor for sex. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations had contacted the sheriff’s office after receiving a complaint that Richards had molested a 10-year-old boy about a decade earlier in Texas, according to the sheriff’s news release. OSI began surveillance of Richards and found he was picking up a 17-year-old boy in Bay County and taking him to his home for several hours at a time, it said.

OSI contacted the sheriff’s office for help with the case. The boy told authorities he met Richards in an online gaming chat room and that they had begun a sexual relationship nine months earlier, when he was 16.

Richards was found guilty on all the charges he faced, which included five specifications of an indecent act with a child and four specifications of violating a no-contact order.

Richards was a judge advocate general assigned to the Air Force Legal Operations Agency in the utilities litigation team stationed at Tyndall, 2nd Lt. Andrea Valencia said in an email.

Prior coverage here and AFCCA Writ Decision from Jan. 29, 2013 is here.  H/t PC.

5 Responses to “Breaking News: AF Judge Advocate Gets 17 Years for Child Sex Charges”

  1. Zachary Spilman says:

    indecent acts with a child younger than 16

    But…

    The boy told authorities he met Richards in an online gaming chat room and that they had begun a sexual relationship nine months earlier, when he was 16.

    Huh?

  2. John Harwood says:

    ZS, could the “under 16″ charge be for the 10-year-old case with the ten-year-old boy in Texas?

  3. ConLaw says:

    How does age of consent impact on this?  (serious question I’m not being a smartass)

  4. AF Capt says:

    ConLaw: Age of consent under state law or UCMJ?

  5. AF JAG says:

    The verdict and sentence involved neither the TX kid nor the local Tyndall 16+ yro - there was a lot more.  The boys involved were well under 16 yro.