You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Fort Carson soldier pleads guilty to sex with girl

Sep. 25, 2013 - 08:39PM   |  
  • Filed Under

FORT CARSON, COLO. — A Fort Carson soldier has been sentenced to 10 years of confinement and given a dishonorable discharge after pleading guilty to engaging in sexual acts with a 13-year-old girl.

Spc. Richard A. Sheltra, 23, was sentenced Tuesday, a day after entering his pleas to four charges during his court-martial on post, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

The charges included having sex with the victim and engaging in sexual acts with her on multiple occasions, as well as sending lewd images to her.

It was the latest in a string of sexual misconduct cases at Fort Carson.

Sheltra apologized but said he and the girl were in love and their acts were consensual.

“I know what I did was wrong. I know I need to be punished,” Sheltra told a seven-member panel of soldiers in a statement during the sentencing portion of his trial. “We cared about each other very much. I’d even say I was in love with her.”

Another Fort Carson soldier was convicted in June of similar charges and sentenced to six years of confinement.

Government lawyers had asked the panel to sentence Sheltra to at least 17 years of confinement and issue a dishonorable discharge.

“It’s not the most aggravating case,” Maj. Jonathan Lambert, a lawyer with the prosecution, told the panel. “What it is, is the case of a soldier, someone years removed from high school, taking advantage of a girl years removed from elementary school.”

A forensic investigation of Sheltra’s computer uncovered a folder titled “lil slut” on his computer with naked pictures of the girl, Lambert said.

“Does Spc. Sheltra love the victim, or is he just trying to use her?” Lambert told the panel. “The strong prey on the weak, and that’s exactly what Spc. Sheltra did.”

Sheltra was an M1 armor crewman with the 4th Infantry Division’s 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

Go mustang
LDO and warrant careers offer more authority, a pay hike and big retirement payout

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook