A 29-year-old Colorado Springs man has pleaded guilty to one count of sexual exploitation of a child, a Class 3 felony.
Paul D. Sikkema will have to register as a sex offender and will have 10 years of Sex Offender Intensive Supervised Probation.
Sikkema was a captain teaching ethics at the Air Force Academy when he was charged in April of this year. The charges came from the work of investigators with the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children unit.
A deputy made contact with Sikkema in an online chat room and purported to be a 14-year-old girl. Sikkema continued to correspond with the investigator, sharing photos and texts that described explicit sexual conduct and proposed a meeting.
“No person is above the law, including a commissioned Air Force officer who teaches — wait for it — ethics … to future officers. This conduct is shameful for the perpetrator and embarrassing for our phenomenal Air Force Academy,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. “Predators are always looking for young, vulnerable victims. Our ability to identify and quickly stop them is directly related to the funding we have for our Internet Crimes Against Children team. We are proud to work with them and prosecute those who target our children.”
Sikkema also faces up to 90 days in jail when he is sentenced Dec. 13.