Kadena airman charged with molesting 10-year-old girl
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — Formal charges of child molestation and breaking and entering have been filed against a Kadena airman, the Naha District Prosecutor’s Office said Sunday.
Staff Sgt. Armando Valdez, 27, of the 18th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, was arrested July 3 after allegedly luring a 10-year-old girl and her friend from a city street on a Sunday morning, Okinawa police said.
Valdez brought the girl to a house’s garage, put his hand down her pants and touched her lower abdomen, according to the prosecutor’s indictment.
He then forced her to roll up her T-shirt and photographed her breast with his cell-phone camera, according to the indictment.
“Valdez, although he admitted that he was at the scene of the crime, denied the accusation of molesting the girl,” according to a prosecutor office spokesman.
Police officers found Valdez accosting a woman on a street near the garage around 11 a.m., about two-and-a-half hours after the molestation occurred, police said.
A Breathalyzer test detected five times more than the legal limit of 0.1 milligrams of alcohol on his breath, police said.
The alleged incident drew sharp reaction from both local Japanese and military officials. Kadena Air Base has since instituted a liberty program and curfew for junior airmen in an attempt to curb alcohol-related incidents.
The Air Force is cooperating with Japanese authorities in regard to Valdez’s case, said spokesman Maj. Mike Paoli.
“We support the Japanese judicial system and will be watching [the case] very closely as it progresses,” Paoli said.