KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — A 22-year-old Kadena airman was sentenced to three years of confinement and was dishonorably discharged Wednesday after pleading guilty to having sex with two 14-year-old girls.
Airman 1st Class Nathaniel N.F. DaSilva of the 18th Munitions Squadron pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault of a child, abusive sexual contact with a child and sodomy.
The charges stem from an encounter in February, in which DaSilva and the girls engaged in sex inside DaSilva’s dorm room after drinking alcohol and watching a movie, according to court testimony.
DaSilva, then 21, had been introduced to the girls just days earlier by mutual underage acquaintances.
The girls — Marine and Air Force family members — were eighth-graders at Kadena Middle School.
Under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, servicemembers cannot have sex with teenagers who are younger than 16.
DaSilva blamed alcohol for lowering his inhibitions and prompting the Feb. 8 incident.
DaSilva also admitted to serving beer and mixed drinks to the girls, and providing alcohol to two other teenage girls on a previous occasion.
"I knew I should have been the responsible, older individual," he said during an unsworn statement before a jury Wednesday. "I felt guilty from day one. I knew what I did was wrong."
The February incident was reported to authorities after the brother of a 19-year-old Air Force family member DaSilva was dating spotted him and one of the 14-year-old girls in his car at the Kadena USO parking lot.
DaSilva also pleaded guilty to dereliction of duty for serving alcohol to minors and willfully disobeying an officer after he was told to have no further contact with minors.
In February, after authorities seized DaSilva’s computer and cell phone as evidence, the airman purchased a new computer and cell phone he used to send text messages and instant messages to four teenage girls, including the 14-year-olds.
DaSilva faced a maximum 97 years in confinement; a jury of six officers sentenced DaSilva to eight years of confinement.
A plea bargain, however, limited DaSilva’s prison term to three years, in addition to a reduction in rank to E-1 and total forfeiture of pay and allowances.
He will have to register as a sex offender in his home state of Massachusetts, prosecuting attorneys said.
DaSilva’s parents, who spoke to the jury via video-teleconference Wednesday from Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts, called their son’s actions "totally out of character" for a "well-behaved" former honor roll student, who was active in the Catholic church and excelled at sports.
DaSilva enlisted in the service in 2006, and graduated from technical school with distinction.
"Once upon a time he did what he was supposed to do," said his father, Antero DaSilva.