AF captain pleads not guilty to child abuse
May 11, 2007
An Air Force captain and his wife pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Guam Superior Court to a total of nine misdemeanor counts of child abuse.
Stars and Stripes is not naming the parents because it would identify the alleged victims. The father, 36, is stationed at Andersen Air Base.
He and his 29-year-old wife are charged with abusing their sons, ages 5 and 3, by spanking them so hard they left welts and bruises on their bodies, allowing them to view photos of nude adults, and groping and fondling each other and performing sex acts in front of the boys.
“They pled not guilty, waived their right to a speedy trial and requested discovery documents,” a spokesman for the Guam Attorney General said. They next will appear in court May 22 for a hearing to set a trial date, he said.
The parents are each free on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. The boys remain in the custody of Guam Child Protective Services.
The charges stem from an Air Force investigation of the captain on allegations of conduct unbecoming an officer. The case was turned over to Guam officials when it was learned the alleged offenses included the wife and occurred in their off-base home in the village of Yigo.
According to the Guam Attorney General’s Office, evidence police seized included 1,700 photographs of the couple and their sons in the nude. But felony pornography charges were dropped when it was later learned the photos were taken before the family arrived on Guam in June 2006.
In withdrawing the felony charges last week, Phillip Tydingco, chief prosecutor for the Guam Attorney General’s Office, said interviews with the boys after they were removed from the home led to the misdemeanor child abuse charges.
He said the older boy told child protective services caseworkers that the family usually wore no clothing when at home and he had seen his parents engage in acts of sodomy.
The boy also alleged that he engaged in such acts with his younger brother and his parents took pictures of them.