Air Force Academy ethics instructor pleads guilty to sexual exploitation of a child

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — An Air Force Academy captain who taught ethics has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child, the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s office said Tuesday.

Paul Sikkema, 29, of Colorado Springs could be sentenced up to 90 days in jail, will have to serve 10 years of sex offender intensive supervised probation and register as a sex offender.

In January, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office posed as a 14-year-old girl named Jenny and began chatting with Sikkema online.

Prosecutors said Sikkema continued to correspond with the investigator, sharing photos and texts that described explicit sexual conduct.

Sheriff’s investigators contacted Sikkema by phone in April and he turned himself in.

“No person is above the law, including a commissioned Air Force officer who teaches — wait for it — ethics … to future officers,” District Attorney George Brauchler said.

“This conduct is shameful for the perpetrator and embarrassing for our phenomenal Air Force Academy. Predators are always looking for young, vulnerable victims.”

Sikkema is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 13.

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