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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — An airman here was sentenced to jail time and discharged from the service after pleading guilty to receiving, possessing and viewing child pornography and distributing some of its images.

Judge Col. Steven Hatfield sentenced Airman 1st Class Andrew J. Hubbell from Kadena’s 353rd Maintenance Squadron to two years in prison, reduced his rank to E-1 and ordered a bad-conduct discharge. A pre-trial agreement limited the sentence to 18 months, the same reduction in rank and a bad-conduct discharge.

During the proceedings, Hatfield viewed a sample of the images. He didn’t describe them but prosecutor Capt. Anthony Archibeque said the images were of children in various sexual acts with adults.

Hubbell admitted he downloaded child pornography in his dorm room, stored it on his laptop’s hard drive from June 1, 2005, to Jan. 30 and chatted online with individuals seeking child pornography images. Hubbell said he sent images “two or three times” and received photos from some people he chatted with.

A tearful Hubbell said he was caught after letting a fellow airman borrow his laptop.

After a recess for Hubbell and his attorney, Capt. Chad Cowan, to view an evidentiary CD, Hubbell said the images on it were some of the 155 child pornography images found on his computer.

Asked how he knew they were child pornography, Hubbell said, “It was obvious by looking at them that they were under 18.”

An Office of Special Investigations agent testified that during questioning, Hubbell cooperated by telling them where to find the images on his computer and the screen names of individuals with whom he chatted online.

In an unsworn statement, Hubbell said he knew what he did was “illegal and immoral.” He apologized to the judge, his squadron and the Air Force.

“I think on some level I wanted to get caught. … I couldn’t fix my problem myself,” he said. By pleading guilty, he said, he hoped to get help and that time away from the Internet might help rid him of his problem.

Throughout his statement, Hubbell cried and often took long pauses to collect himself, wiping tears from his eyes.

In seeking a 30-month sentence, dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to E-1 and forfeiture of all pay and allowances, Archibeque said, “Our children are under attack by sexual predators” and pornographic images are “their repulsive trophy.” Hubbell, he argued, “says the right things now and tears are flowing but let’s look at what he’s done.

“We need to tell this airman and others like him that it’s not funny, it’s not exciting and it’s not acceptable.”

Cowan sought a sentence of one year or less, saying that would be ample punishment and give Hubbell time to get help.

The defense attorney argued there was no evidence Hubbell would act on any urges and pointed out that his client admitted to the crimes and cooperated with investigators.

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