O-5 Gets 10 Years in Child-Sex Case

A former U.S. Central Command official charged with having sexual contact and communications with a boy he met through a military organization was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Thursday.

The FBI began investigating U.S. Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Stephen Governale last year after the parents of a 17-year-old Seminole County boy told agents the was sending their son sexual messages on Facebook.

The teen met Governale through his Civil Air Patrol affiliation in 2009.

Governale admitted in his plea agreement that he asked the teen to attend a conference in 2010 and they shared a hotel room.

The teen told agents Governale rented a pornographic movie and they engaged in sexual acts.

In 2012, Governale and the teen again shared a hotel room for a function at Patrick Air Force Base, rented a pornographic movie and engaged in a sex act, the plea agreement said.

FBI agents assumed the teen's identity on Facebook and communicated with Governale. The plea agreement said that during those chats, Governale discussed what he wanted to do sexually with the teen when they met next.

Governale previously pleaded guilty in Orlando federal court to one count of attempted enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.

During Thursday's sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Roger Handberg told the court Governale abused a position of trust.

Governale apologized to the court and to his relatives who came to the hearing to support him.

"I know what I did was wrong," he said. "I'm sorry."

Governale and defense attorney Cynthia Hawkins asked that he receive treatment in prison, and the judge granted that request, ordering that he undergo psychotherapy treatment.

Governale was also ordered to serve 10 years probation after his prison release.

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