RAF MILDENHALL, England — Tech Sgt. Dean Harmer, who said he first looked at child pornography “out of curiosity,” was sentenced Tuesday to 11 months of confinement, given a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force and reduced in rank to airman basic for downloading images of young children in sexually explicit poses.

Harmer, 34, pleaded guilty to one charge of wrongful possession of child pornography during a general court-martial heard by Maj. Adam Oler, the trial judge, at RAF Mildenhall.

A pre-trial agreement asked for 370 days of confinement, but the lesser penalty given by Oler was accepted by all parties in the case.

In a stipulation of fact read by the court and agreed to by Harmer, the maintainer with the 352nd Maintenance Squadron admitted he subscribed to six Web sites that provide child pornography.

His computer “bookmarks” listed several Web sites, including “Little Angels” and “Pre-Teen Goddesses.”

He was charged with viewing the material on his home computer on many occasions from March 1, 2002, to June 14, 2004, the date he was questioned about his habit by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The photographs included girls under the age of 16 and some under age 10.

Ryan Amedure, the lead investigator, said the computer’s hard drive contained 22,000 pornographic images, but it was not known how many were of children.

Harmer’s use of the for-pay Web sites was uncovered during a cooperative investigation by the FBI, U.S. Postal Service, Internal Revenue Service and other agencies.

In his closing argument, Capt. W. Crosby Parker, the prosecutor, asked for 14 months of confinement.

“The accused is an integral part of the child pornography industry,” Parker said.

David Court, who, along with Capt. Tiwana Wright, defended Harmer, told the judge nothing would be accomplished by booting his client from the Air Force.

“His service over the last 16½ years must count for something,” Court said.

During testimony, Harmer’s friends and colleagues called him a loyal friend and a good Air Force member.

“I don’t believe that this case should define Dean Harmer,” said Chief Master Sgt. Joel Coppolino, who traveled from Robins Air Force Base, Ga., to testify on behalf of the airman he worked with from May 1999 until December 2001.

In an unsworn statement before the court, Harmer apologized to everyone he had hurt by his actions. Since his arrest in June, he said, “I’ve done a lot of soul-searching.”

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