Girls Say Deployed Soldier Coerced Nude Photos

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord soldier accused of using "fear tactics" to get illegal photos and video from teenage girls was arrested on base Monday after the Washington State Patrol learned he had returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.

The 24-year-old soldier was booked into the Pierce County Jail for investigation of possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, communication with a minor for immoral purposes, sexual exploitation of a minor and extortion, according to the State Patrol.

The News Tribune does not generally name suspects until they have been formally charged.

Base officials helped with the arrest and handed the solider over to the State Patrol, according to Lt. Ron Mead.

The State Patrol's Missing and Exploited Children's Task Force began investigating the soldier in April, after a parent of one of the girls told law enforcement the soldier had demanded nude photos of the teen during online conversations.

The man used money, gifts and "fear tactics" to get the photos and videos of the eight victims, who are ages 15 to 17, the State Patrol said.

The State Patrol said in May that the soldier started communicating with the girls 10 months before he was deployed and continued the contact from overseas. His computer access had been restricted, the State Patrol said in May.

The task force found that, in addition to the online activity, the soldier twice met with girls in person.

Based on information on the soldier's computer, the task force believes there might be other victims.

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