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KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — A 25-year-old airman was reduced in rank and sentenced to four months of confinement Tuesday after pleading guilty to taking Ecstasy at a barracks party last summer and committing an indecent act with a minor at last September’s Okuma Fest.

Airman 1st Class Paul A. Tebbs, assigned to the 18th Munitions Squadron, also was fined $1,000 a month for four months. He could have received 10 years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.

During the half-day general court-martial, Tebbs admitted to taking part in an Ecstasy party in his barracks on the air base.

"I am ashamed that I made such a horrible decision," he told the judge, Lt. Col. Gregory Friedland.

But what he did two months later was much worse, argued the chief prosecutor, Capt. Cortney Coates.

On Sept. 16, Tebbs and a group of friends rented a cabin at the Okuma Joint Services Recreation Center for the annual Okuma Fest. During the night, he flirted with a drunken 17-year-old Air Force family member, followed her into another cabin and engaged in sexual foreplay with her and a 31-year-old civilian man.

"He had a choice," Coates said. "But he didn’t save her from the perverted hands of the man. No, he participated in a sexual threesome."

Coates sought a sentence of two years in prison, a bad-conduct discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and reduction in rank to E-1.

Tebbs admitted to kneeling beside the naked girl and kissing her on her neck and face as the other man fondled her. The girl, in a written statement read aloud in court, said she had passed out from excessive drinking and awoke to find herself in the unwelcome situation. She said she bit Tebbs’ lip and he left, but she got in a fight with the other man and he broke her nose.

Tebbs complained that the other man was later administratively barred from all bases on Okinawa, but was never legally charged with a crime. And the other airmen at the Ecstasy party only received nonjudicial punishment by their command and were reduced in rank and restricted to base for 60 days, he said.

Tebbs admitted that participating in a "sexual threesome" was wrong. He denied that the girl, who now lives in the United States, told him her age.

"I had no idea she was 17," Tebbs said. "If I had known her age I wouldn’t have hung out with her. She looked and acted like an adult."

As part of the plea agreement, Tebbs agreed to testify next month at the court-martial of the airman who allegedly threw the Ecstasy party. Airman Brandon Grundy is charged with possession, distribution and use of a controlled drug.


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