A soldier stationed at Fort Liberty is facing 34 charges for sex crimes against children.
Sergeant First Class Shawn Michael Lima, a civil affairs team sergeant assigned to the 95th Civil Affairs Brigade, part of 1st Special Forces Command, is currently in jail after being arrested on Oct. 10. His arrest came following an investigation spurred by a tip from the U.S. Army’s Criminal Investigation Division.
“On October 10, 2023 Shawn Michael Lima was taken into custody without incident and taken in front of the Hoke County Magistrate,” the Hoke County Sheriff’s Office said in a release. “Shawn Michael Lima was served with all of the arrest warrants and received a $5,000,000 secured bond.”
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Lima is, according to authorities, charged with 11 counts of indecent liberties with a child, six counts of statutory sex offense with a child less than or equal to 15 years of age, four counts of crimes against nature, one count each for disseminating obscenity and second-degree forcible sex offense. Each of those are felonies. The Fayetteville Observer reports that he assaulted minors or forced multiple ones to engage in sex acts with one another.
Along with the felony charges against him, Lima has also been hit with 11 misdemeanor charges. Those include seven counts of sexual battery and four counts of disseminating harmful material to minors.
Local authorities were contacted on Aug. 18 by Army CID of a minor who had been sexually assaulted. The Hoke County Sheriff’s Office investigated and arrested Lima in October.
It is unclear what caused Army CID to begin the investigation that led to the arrest of the 34-year-old Lima. Fort Liberty, formerly known as Fort Bragg, is home to tens of thousands of soldiers, including those assigned to 1st Special Forces Command.
“We are aware of the arrest of Sgt. 1st Class Shawn Lima on allegations of sexually assaulting a juvenile,” Maj. Russell Gordon, public affairs officer for 1st Special Forces Command, said in a statement to Task & Purpose. “Lima is a civil affairs team sergeant assigned to 95th Civil Affairs Brigade. We are deeply disturbed by the allegations and take them seriously while reiterating that such behavior does not reflect the values of Army Special Operations or the thousands of people who serve daily with distinction.”
Task & Purpose reached out to CID to see if it has taken any actions since Lima’s arrest. CID has acknowledged the media request but as of press time has not responded with answers to the question.
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