TACOMA, Wash.—Detectives from the Washington State Patrol Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force (MECTF) are investigating a soldier stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord involving allegations of possession/production of child pornography and extortion.
MCTEF detectives initiated the investigation in late April after a parent of a high school student alleged a soldier stationed at the South Sound base and currently deployed overseas was demanding nude photographs during online conversations.
The online conversations occurred via Facebook, and continued via texting and other online applications. The investigation is focused on the distribution of child pornography and blackmail/extortion.
The investigation is still in the early stage, but the WSP has so far identified 10 victims ranging in age from 13 to 17 years old. The girls the WSP has confirmed as victims so far are all students in the Pierce County area. While most of the allegations involve online activities, there are allegations that the suspect may have had in-person contact with several of the victims.
We are not identifying the suspect other than that he is a 24-year-old soldier from JBLM. The online activities are alleged to have begun approximately 10 months ago before the soldier deployed overseas and continued while deployed in Afghanistan. The U.S. Army CID is fully cooperating and assisting in the investigation. The suspect’s computer access has been restricted and he is no longer a threat online.
The investigation continues, including identifying additional witnesses and potential victims and collecting other evidence. Anyone with information related to this case is asked to call MECTF detectives at 360-704-2400.
MECTF is a multi-agency task force within the WSP comprised of detectives from the WSP and the Lakewood Police Department. MECTF provides support to local agencies across the state in cases involving missing and abducted children and child exploitation.