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Former San Diego master-at-arms gets 20 years for sex crimes against a minor
SAN DIEGO, Calif. — A former U.S. Navy sailor was sentenced to 20 years in prison Monday for having sexual contact with a 14-year-old Oceanside girl in 2017, federal prosecutors in San Diego said in a statement.
Isaiah B. Smallwood-Jackson, 23, was accused in September 2017 of sexual assault. He was a 21-year old Navy master-at-arms 3rd class assigned to the security detachment at Naval Base San Diego at the time of his arrest.
Prosecutors say Smallwood-Jackson began chatting with a then-14-year-old on Spotafriend, a teens-only mobile app whose terms of service do not allow users over the age of 19. To get around this, Smallwood-Jackson listed his age as 17, prosecutors said in a statement.
In chats with the girl, Smallwood-Jackson told her "Is it bad I don't care about your age?" and, in another text, asked her if she was ready to lose her virginity.
Prosecutors say the girl gave Smallwood-Jackson her address and told him she was nervous, to which he replied "take a leap of faith."
He went to her home in September 2017 and engaged in sexual acts with the girl outside of her home. After he left, the girl confided in her sister what had happened.
The sister called police.
Prosecutors said that just over 24 hours elapsed from Smallwood-Jackson's initial contact with the girl on the app to the sexual contact. Smallwood-Jackson was arrested on Sept. 21, 2017.
The case, initially in California state court, was shifted to the federal system because Smallwood-Jackson used "a facility and means of interstate commerce" — the internet — to contact the girl.
The victim's family told the court the girl was devastated by Smallwood-Jackson and is afraid to be out in public or around men.
Smallwood-Jackson was convicted of sexual exploitation and enticement of a minor in October.
Once released, Smallwood-Jackson will be supervised for 10 years and will have to register as a sex offender. He will not be allowed to access the internet unless monitored by probation officers.
Prosecutors said the case is a lesson for parents about the dangers online and the need to communicate with children about what they're doing.
"Defendant's abuse of a seemingly safe chat application for teens allowed (Smallwood-Jackson) access to this 14-year-old victim that he would not otherwise have had," prosecutors said in a statement. "Parents are urged to educate themselves and discuss these dangers with their children."
©2019 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.