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Former JBLM sergeant accused of Skyping rape of girl sentenced to 25 years for child porn

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TACOMA — Former Army Sgt. Joseph Thomas French, 29, was sentenced Friday to 25 years in prison for production and distribution of child pornography that court records said involved Skyping the rape of a young girl.

French, a former active-duty solider from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, was arrested in February 2014 and pleaded guilty to the child porn charges on March 12, 2015, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to an FBI agent’s statement in the probable cause court documents, the girl’s mother on Feb. 9, 2014, reported to authorities that her 10-year-old daughter had told her that French, a soldier stationed at JBLM, had been raping her since she was 7 and would tie her down. The victim also said that he had let another sergeant in the military and a woman watch one assault via Skype.

The girl’s mother told Q13 FOX News that French, following a divorce, had been given primary care of the victim and two other children during that time and that she was not allowed to contact them. But when she found out of the abuse, she immediately contacted authorities.

In the court documents, the FBI agent said French, upon his arrest at JBLM Feb. 11, initially denied the allegations but then French began to cry and stated that he needed help, that he wanted to stop.

The FBI agent said French confessed to raping the girl at least 15 times — at least once in a residence in Chipley, Fla., and other times at his residence on JBLM. The agent said French also admitted to taking sexually explicit photos of her, which authorities said were posted on a specific website.

At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Ronald Leighton said, “This is a very serious and tragic offense ….  An offense that should be punished heavily.”

“Words cannot adequately express the horror of the conduct at issue in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Annette Hayes.  “Beyond the abuse itself, the fact that some people used technology to watch the conduct while it was on-going – without doing anything to stop it – is a fact that cannot be forgotten or ignored.”

 

 

 

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10 comments

    • JMG

      I do not think for a nano second that the time he was sentenced to is more than a tap on the wrist. He deserves to be shot for what he did, most definitely. And the sooner the better, like when he confessed. Time to get busy……

  • erp

    ” French, following a divorce, had been given primary care of the victim and two other children ” – Do NOT give custody to men. In the end, all “fathers’ rights” is about is control and domination and someone with that mindset has no business having custody of children.

  • Justin Thyme

    ERP, You are sadly mistaken about fathers. I’ve had custody of my daughter since the 4th grade and she graduates high school next week. BTW…..I was about to go to court to win custody of my kid but didn’t have to…. mom dropped kids and cats at my door and took off to California who can’t seem to enforce child support. So please keep your thoughts to yourself because it makes you look stupid.

  • Dana

    They care sooo much about his behavior but note what he was sentenced for. The child porn, NOT the rapes.

    I hate this culture.

    (In case some mouthbreather needs an explanation: I think he should have been busted for the child porn too, I’m just gobsmacked that they care more about him getting it on video than that he did it at all.)

    • hobbit

      sadly he will probably be in protective custody . especially since his was such a high profile case. it would be nice if they put him in gp with a sign around his neck though .

  • hobbit

    i know im jaded but this has been going on since civilization began. some men (and women too, but predominantly men) are sick like this. im not excusing it at all as i have been a victim. it does seem like children are below women in regards to importance or being believed. even WITH proof. its sad but just like sexism im afraid it will always be with us.
    i agree with Dana , why wasnt he charged at all for the rapes?!?