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July 2017
Tim Bilecki

No Jail Time for E-5 in Minor Sex Assault Due to Entrapment and Mistake of Fact

Attempted Sexual Assault of a Minor, Communicating Indecent Language to a Minor (Sting Operation Case)
Joint Base Pearl Harbor - Hickam, Hawaii
Air Force Staff Sergeant – E-5
Not guilty of attempted sexual assault of a minor. No jail time.

An Air Force Staff Sergeant was charged with attempted sexual assault when he answered a deceptive ad posted by Hawaii’s OSI in the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist. The ad in question was for a no-strings-attached relationship. Nowhere in the ad was age mentioned.

The Airman answered the ad and began chatting with the undercover OSI agent.  The agent stated that “she” was only 15 years old, but our client did not believe the person he was chatting with and thought he might be getting “catfished.”

OSI then sent multiple pictures of an adult female to the Airman, and he believed the person he was chatting with was an adult based on those pictures.  The Airman requested a meeting prior to engaging in any sexual activity to verify that he was speaking with an adult.  OSI then sent a 28-year-old Technical Sergeant as the decoy girl to meet our client at the Hickam Gym. Content that the person he was speaking with was not underage, the Airman agreed via text to meet up in a hotel room on base.

When the Air Force Sergeant arrived at the hotel room, he was arrested, taken into custody, interrogated and charged with attempted sexual assault of a minor and communicating indecent language to a minor.

Military sexual assault lawyer Timothy Bilecki and his client turned down the 18-month plea deal that the government offered. At trial, the defense raised both entrapment and mistake of fact as to age defenses and pointed out the numerous flaws in OSI’s sting operation case.  

The jury deliberated and found our client not guilty of attempted sexual assault of a minor. However, they did find him guilty of communicating indecent language to a minor (for language sent prior to when our client saw the 28-year-old decoy). The jury sentenced our client to a Bad Conduct Discharge but no jail time.

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