Criminal Justice News

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Arizona Man and U.S. Citizen Residing in Germany Convicted of Sexual Assault

Two men were convicted today following a five-day jury trial in the District of Arizona for the sexual assault of a 17-year-old female in Landstuhl, Germany.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo of the District of Arizona, Special Agent James Boerner of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Command (CID), Special Agent in Charge Douglas G. Price of the FBI’s Phoenix Division and Assistant Director in Charge Andrew McCabe of the FBI’s Washington, D.C., Field Office made the announcement.

Joseph S. Martin, 20, of Peoria, Arizona, and Christopher J. Heikkila, 21, a U.S. citizen residing in Weilerbach, Germany, were each convicted of one count of sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact.  The sentencing hearing for Martin and Heikkila is scheduled for Nov. 16, 2015, before U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona, who presided over the trial.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on or about Oct. 19, 2013, Martin and Heikkila sexually assaulted a 17-year-old female in Landstuhl while she was incapacitated.  At the time, Martin and Heikkila were employees of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service on Ramstein Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany, as well as dependents of civilian employees of the military.  The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act gives U.S. federal courts jurisdiction over felonies committed abroad by certain persons employed by or accompanying the U.S. military.

The trial evidence showed that, beginning on or before Oct. 13, 2013, Martin and Heikkila used social media websites to post comments and exchange a series of messages specifically targeting the victim and planning the sexual assault.  The evidence further demonstrated that two men continued discussing the assault on social media after it occurred.

The case was investigated by Army CID and the FBI’s Phoenix Division and Washington Field Office.  The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Christine Duey and Michael Sheckels of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. Koehler of the District of Arizona.

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