Child Pornography is a Crime

  • Published
  • By Capt. Moe Sium
  • 61 ABW/JA
There has been a very disturbing rash of cases involving members of the United States Air Force possessing and viewing child pornography. Airmen have lost their freedom, their careers and much more for engaging in this criminal activity. Make no mistake about it, such activities are crimes that can have serious consequences. Possessing, accessing and viewing child pornography is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as well as many provisions of both State and Federal law. Accessing child pornography is never acceptable and violators can expect to be prosecuted.

There seems to be a mistaken assumption on the part of some that pornography is all the same and all offenses involving pornography will be treated similarly. We all know that pornography of any type is not allowed on government computers. However, whereas adult pornography may be legally accessed by members on their own time on their personal computers, accessing child pornography - even one time - is a crime. Any Air Force member who engages in this activity can expect to be dealt with appropriately.

As recent media coverage demonstrates, this troubling societal problem also affects all ranks in every part of the Air Force. An Air Force technical sergeant, and recently convicted child pornographer, is currently serving a 10-year prison sentence given by a federal judge in Colorado for violating federal child pornography statutes, and a recently convicted Air Force lieutenant is serving a 12-year sentence for similar offenses. Unfortunately, there are many more Air Force members either serving time in confinement or waiting to be court-martialed for similar offenses. As these military members discovered, accessing, possessing or viewing child pornography is a crime with very serious consequences.