Former Soldier Who Molested Two Young Children while Residing on Military Base Sentenced to 17+ Years in Prison
Abuse Disclosed Years Later Following Pattern of Domestic Violence
A former Army soldier was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 210 months in prison and lifetime supervised release for aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, announced U.S. Attorney Annette L. Hayes. WIMIBALDO EVER CEDENO, 55, was arrested in Tacoma in September 2015, following a domestic violence assault at his home. The investigation revealed that CEDENO had sexually molested two children between 2002 and 2006, while CEDENO resided on military bases, including the Fort Lewis Military installation (now Joint Base Lewis-McChord or JBLM). The victims were between the ages of seven and twelve-years-old. At the sentencing hearing U.S. District Judge Robert J. Bryan said, “I need to protect the public. . . . These were very serious ongoing long-term offenses.”
According to records filed in the case, CEDENO molested and raped his young victims while threatening them with loss of their home and financial support if they reported the abuse. The abuse occurred when other adults were not present in the home. CEDENO left the military in 2011 and resided in Tacoma. The abuse was ultimately disclosed to the Tacoma Police and U.S. Military investigators after CEDENO was arrested for shoving his wife during an argument. The victims worked with law enforcement, obtaining recorded statements from CEDENO admitting he sexually molested them.
CEDENO pleaded guilty in May 2017. These crimes are being prosecuted in federal court because they occurred on a military base in an area of exclusive federal jurisdiction.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the U .S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (Army-CID), and the Tacoma Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Grady Leupold who serves as the Military Liaison for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.