Darby staff sergeant sentenced to 20 years for sex act with minor

By KENT HARRIS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: March 8, 2013

AVIANO AIR BASE, Italy — An Air Force staff sergeant was sentenced Friday to 20 years in prison for sexual contact with a child.

Johnny A. Escobar, of the 731st Munitions Squadron, pleaded guilty to charges of engaging in sexual contact with a minor, taking indecent liberties with a minor, engaging in indecent conduct with a minor and producing and possessing child pornography.

According to the charges, the incident occurred at a residence in Pisa in May 2012.

Col. Dawn Eflein, the military judge, sentenced Escobar, 28, to loss of all pay and allowances, reduction to E-1 and a dishonorable discharge. Escobar pleaded guilty in exchange for a maximum penalty of 20 years, including time served.

Escobar told the judge he showed the girl pornographic images one day while her active-duty mother was attending a course in Germany. Hours later, he exposed himself, had the girl perform a sexual act on him and took provocative pictures of her that he kept on his computer.

Capt. Vy Nguyen, one of the prosecutors, said the pictures eventually led to the charges due to an anonymous email tip.

“Words like inhumane, disgusting and evil come to mind when you see those pictures,” he told Eflein, arguing for a sentence of 25 years.

In a sometimes teary reading of his signed statement to the judge during the sentencing phase, Escobar apologized to the girl, his wife and his family for “the darkest day of my life.”


Staff Sgt. Johnny Escobar, 731st Munitions Squadron precision guided maintenance crew chief, at Camp Darby, Italy, on Nov. 2, 2011.


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