Air Force Captain Who Allegedly Tried to Lure a Child Was Caught in Sting

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

When the Arapahoe County, Colorado Sheriff's Office arrested Air Force captain and Air Force Academy professor Paul Sikkema on Thursday, investigators had positively identified him as the perpetrator trying to lure a child online by telling the victim she was "sexy," according to an affidavit filed with an Arapahoe County court Thursday.

The 14-year-old child, known as "Jenny," was really an officer with the Sheriff's Office's Internet Crimes Against Children task force, according to the document obtained by Military.com.

The online conversation began Jan. 21, then progressed to a week-long text conversation between the officer and Sikkema, the document states.

During the conversation, Sikkema, 29, wrote the following messages, according to the document:

-- "Into older guys?"

-- "Are you a virgin?"

-- "I can get into a lot of trouble talking to you"

-- "Damn I'm getting all turned on now"

-- "Now I really want to come up and see you"

-- "What's your address?"

The comments got significantly more obscene.

Investigators alerted Sikkema of the impending charges, a Class 4 felony, on Tuesday. The sheriff's department arrested him Wednesday after he consulted with his attorney and turned himself in, the document states.

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

In Colorado, the offense Sikkema is charged with typically entails an adult communicating over the internet with a child known to be under 15 years old, describing sexual conduct and attempting to arrange an in-person meeting.

"We are aware of the arrest and can confirm that Capt. Sikkema is a professor here at the academy," Ray Bowden, a 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 Air Force Academy's faculty page, Sikkema received his commission in 2012. That year, he was also named an outstanding academy 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," his bio states.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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