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Press Release

Arizona Man and U.S. Citizen Residing in Germany Sentenced for Sexual Assault

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Two men were sentenced today in the District of Arizona for the sexual assault of a 17-year-old girl in Landstuhl, Germany, in October 2013.

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), Acting Special Agent in Charge Justin Tolomeo of the FBI’s Phoenix Division and Assistant Director in Charge Paul M. Abbate of the FBI’s Washington Field Office made the announcement.

U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell of the District of Arizona sentenced Joseph S. Martin, 20, of Peoria, Arizona, to 96 months in prison, and Christopher J. Heikkila, 21, a U.S. citizen previously residing in Weilerbach, Germany, to 84 months in prison.  In September 2015, a jury convicted the men of one count of sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact each.

According to the evidence presented at trial, on or about Oct. 19, 2013, Martin and Heikkila sexually assaulted a 17-year-old girl in Landstuhl while she was incapacitated after they had used social media to specifically target the victim and plan the assault.  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, according to trial evidence.  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 Army CID and the FBI’s Phoenix Division and Washington Field Office investigated the case.  Senior Trial Attorneys Christine Duey and Michael Sheckels of the Criminal Division’s Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (HRSP) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph E. Koehler of the District of Arizona prosecuted the case.  HRSP Special Counsel Stacey Luck provided substantial assistance.  

Updated March 28, 2016

Press Release Number: 16-368