A military appellate court has denied a commissioned officer’s appeal to gut a portion of his conviction on child pornography charges.

Ensign Joseph P. Saugen, 26, remains in San Diego’s Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to two specifications of possessing child pornography and another for distributing the illicit videos.

It was the distribution charge Saugen wanted the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals in Washington to vacate, but a tribunal of military judges ruled last month that the original ruling and the ensign’s sentence were appropriate.

His appellate attorney did not return messages seeking comment and Saugen was unable to communicate from behind bars. Officials at Navy Region Southeast also declined comment.

The facts in the case aren’t in dispute.

Saugen was assigned to the Navy’s Training Air Wing Six in November 2014 when he began downloading child pornography. He continued searching for and compiling the material for the next two months using a pair of different peer-to-peer and file sharing programs.

Shortly after he downloaded the material, however, a Pensacola Police Department detective remotely accessed Saugen’s computer and “digitally grabbed” five videos depicting children engaged in sexual activity, according to court records.

Saugen was never tried in Florida’s criminal court but was instead referred to court-martial by the Navy.

He pleaded guilty to all three specifications in a pretrial deal and on Nov. 14, 2016, was sentenced to three years in a military prison. The Navy announced that the agreement had no effect on his sentence.

In his appeal, Saugen claimed that the military judge, Cmdr. Jason L. Jones, erred by carving out the distribution specification as a separate crime. Instead, he argued, it should’ve been viewed as a lesser-included offense in the possession specifications because the videos were the same files downloaded on the same date on the same electronic device.

By convicting him of all three specifications the Navy was violating the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution’s prohibition against double jeopardy. It bars courts from convicting someone twice for the same crime.

A unanimous decision issued by all three appellate judges — Col K. Scott Woodard and Lt. Col. David M. Jones of the Marine Corps and Navy Cmdr. Anne Marks — disagreed.

The tribunal ruled that Saugen’s plea agreement called on the defendant to waive all motions except for any that might be non-waivable under military law. Because of that waiver, they weren’t required to determine if the distribution and possession specifications were wrongfully duplicated by the Navy, plus they found no other violations of his rights.

A possible appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces by Saugen has yet to be docketed.