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KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — A noncommissioned officer was found guilty of taking indecent liberties with a child and possession of child pornography and other porn charges Thursday. Authorities maintained he downloaded child pornography onto the computer of a second airman in an attempt to convince the second airman’s wife to leave her husband.

Air Force Staff Sgt. Sergio Richo, assigned to the 435th Communications Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, was sentenced to 30 months in jail, given a bad-conduct discharge and reduced to the lowest pay grade, Air Force spokeswoman Erin Zagursky said Thursday.

Air Force Col. Gordon Hammock, the military judge, delivered the verdict Thursday after hearing two days of testimony at a court-martial that had the drama of a twisted soap opera. Richo faced a maximum sentence of 23 years in prison.

Richo pleaded guilty to disobeying a lawful order by his command to not contact the other airman or his wife, but pleaded innocent to the other charges.

He was found guilty of taking indecent liberties with a female under 16, possession of child pornography and distributing child pornography. The judge found him innocent to charges of storing pornographic images on his government computer and unlawfully entering the home of the airman, Zagursky said.

In 2003, Richo had an affair with the wife of the second airman, who was deployed, the woman testified during the trial. But when she told Richo that she would never divorce her husband unless the husband hurt her children, Air Force prosecutors said Richo took a nude photograph of her 2-year-old daughter and planted the image along with child pornography on the woman’s home computer to make it look like her husband had done it.

When the woman found a suspicious toolbar on her Web browser that linked to pornographic Internet sites, she called Richo to find out whether her husband had gone to some of the sites.

Instead of showing her how to check Internet history files, she said Richo guided her over the telephone to a hidden file on the hard drive that included the images. A document that included a graphic sexual story that involved the woman’s husband and her daughter was also in the file.

Investigators determined the photographs were uploaded to the personal computer with a handheld computer. The other airman and his wife said they didn’t own a handheld computer.

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