Air Force Academy Instructor Arrested on Charges of Internet Luring of a Child

Capt. Paul Sikkema. (Arapahoe Sherriff’s Office)
Capt. Paul Sikkema. (Arapahoe Sherriff’s Office)

A U.S. Air Force captain and professor at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs has been arrested on charges of internet luring of a child.

The Arapahoe Sheriff's Department recently arrested Paul Sikkema and charged him with a felony offense following an investigation by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Internet Crimes Against Children division, the department said on Twitter.

Officials have charged Sikkema, a philosophy professor at the school, with internet luring of a child, a Class 4 felony.

In Colorado, the offense typically entails an adult communicating via the internet to a child known to be under 15 years old, describing sexual conduct and attempting to arrange an in-person meeting. Details about the specific allegations against Sikkema were not made public.

"We are aware of the arrest and can confirm that Capt. Sikkema is a professor here at the academy," Ray Bowden, spokesman for the academy, told Military.com on Wednesday. "We are tracking his civilian court case as it goes through the legal process, and we will cooperate fully as needed with the Arapahoe Sheriff's Department."

According to the school's faculty page, Sikkema received his commission from the academy in 2012. That year, he was also named an outstanding class graduate, according to an Air Force release.

Sikkema then earned a master's degree in philosophy from Georgia State University, his bio states. He later attended undergraduate intelligence officer training and was assigned to the 337th Air Control Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, as an instructor for Undergraduate Air Battle Manager Training.

He joined the academy in 2017 as an instructor in the philosophy department, and "currently teaches the Ethics course for the department," the bio states.

His first court appearance is scheduled for Thursday morning, according to the Arapahoe County Detention Center log.

Officials from the Sheriff's Department did not return Military.com's request for additional information by press time.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.

Show Full Article