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Former Moody AFB airman convicted of child abuse, child porn loses appeal

JESSICA BIDWELL/STARS AND STRIPES

By TERRY RICHARDS | The Valdosta Daily Times, Ga. (Tribune News Service) | Published: November 13, 2017

VALDOSTA — A former Moody Air Force Base airman lost an appeal of his sentence for child sexual abuse and child pornography charges, according to military court records.

SSgt. Troy D. Ecklund, 23d Equipment Maintenance Squadron, pled guilty in May 2016 to all charges against him of violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice, said 2nd Lt. Kaitlin Toner, a Moody public affairs officer.

Ecklund had been charged with two counts of violating Article 120b, sexual abuse of a child and three counts of violating Article 134, knowingly and wrongfully producing, possessing and distributing child pornography.

After his plea, Ecklund was found guilty by a military judge and sentenced to a reduction to airman basic — the lowest rank in the Air Force — along with a dishonorable discharge and confinement for 14 years, though a pretrial agreement means he would only serve 12 years.

His appeal to the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals was denied Aug. 22, according to court documents.

The court's decision refers to Article 59(A) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which says "errors of law" are not sufficient to overturn a sentence unless "the error materially prejudices the substantial rights of the accused." The decision also references UCMJ Article 66(C), which deals with whether a delay caused by the appeals process constitutes denial of a speedy trial.

Ecklund was arrested in August 2015 after the FBI contacted the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office about a video showing a child the LCSO was able to identify, said Capt. Stryde Jones with the sheriff’s office.

Though the case began in August 2015, investigators recovered so much digital data that authorities were still working their way through it in March 2016, Jones said.

The FBI and the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations did “a great deal” of work on the case, though the sheriff’s office was the lead agency, Jones said.

Terry Richards is senior reporter at The Valdosta Daily Times.

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©2017 The Valdosta Daily Times (Valdosta, Ga.)

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