Ret. Air Force general blames his child porn on PTSD, gets 5 years probation

A retired Air Force Brigadier General who blamed his possession of child pornography on post-traumatic stress disorder caused by 30 years of service and multiple combat tours was sentenced to five years probation on Tuesday.

Frank Sullivan, 69, had pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography following his arrest in November 2019. Aside from his probation sentence, he must register as a sex offender for 15 years and pay a fine of $2,500 for his five felony charges of possessing child pornography, Fox 43 reported citing court records.

“I accept full responsibility for everything,” Sullivan told Judge Edward E. Guido. “I damaged friends, family…countless thousands.”

Before a deal had been made regarding Sullivan’s sentencing, his defense attorney Patrick F. Lauer Jr. argued for probation or house arrest, citing Sullivan’s military service. According to Lauer, Sullivan suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and insomnia due to internalized stress from his time in the Air Force.

Sullivan echoed his attorney’s claims, telling the judge that military service and deployments can cause service members to feel left behind as society moves forward without them.

“Sometimes you think it’s impossible to make up that distance,” Sullivan said. “I don’t know how much time I have left on this planet. But in the name of the Lord, I’m going to make it up…to those I’ve hurt.”

Sullivan formerly served as Director, Joint Staff, Pennsylvania National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters, and later executive director of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and was the recipient of a Bronze Star Medal, among more than two dozen federal and state service awards.

Judge Guido said his decision was influenced in part by Sullivan’s “distinguished” military career, adding, “First and foremost the defendant has shown real remorse and has taken steps to address the underlying psychological problems” that he says led to the crimes.

Sullivan was charged in 2019 by the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro after a search of his home revealed child pornography was on both his computer and laptop. Investigators discovered thousands of searches for “preteen” images, including photos of children “engaging in very graphic sexual acts,” according to Fox 43.

Sullivan was initially charged with 15 second-degree felony counts of sexual abuse of children and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

“General Sullivan’s alleged actions disgrace his work and besmirch the Pennsylvania National Guard, an organization that has bravely and dutifully come to the aid of Pennsylvanians whenever they have been called,” Shapiro said. “I’ve said it time and time again — nobody is above the law. My Office will investigate and prosecute anyone who harms Pennsylvanians, no matter what positions of power they may hold.”

American Military News

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Ret. Air Force general blames his child porn on PTSD, gets 5 years probation

A retired Air Force Brigadier General who blamed his possession of child pornography on post-traumatic stress disorder caused by 30 years of service and multiple combat tours was sentenced to five years probation on Tuesday.

Frank Sullivan, 69, had pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography following his arrest in November 2019. Aside from his probation sentence, he must register as a sex offender for 15 years and pay a fine of $2,500 for his five felony charges of possessing child pornography, Fox 43 reported citing court records.

“I accept full responsibility for everything,” Sullivan told Judge Edward E. Guido. “I damaged friends, family…countless thousands.”

Before a deal had been made regarding Sullivan’s sentencing, his defense attorney Patrick F. Lauer Jr. argued for probation or house arrest, citing Sullivan’s military service. According to Lauer, Sullivan suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and insomnia due to internalized stress from his time in the Air Force.

Sullivan echoed his attorney’s claims, telling the judge that military service and deployments can cause service members to feel left behind as society moves forward without them.

“Sometimes you think it’s impossible to make up that distance,” Sullivan said. “I don’t know how much time I have left on this planet. But in the name of the Lord, I’m going to make it up…to those I’ve hurt.”

Sullivan formerly served as Director, Joint Staff, Pennsylvania National Guard’s Joint Force Headquarters, and later executive director of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission. He served two tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and was the recipient of a Bronze Star Medal, among more than two dozen federal and state service awards.

Judge Guido said his decision was influenced in part by Sullivan’s “distinguished” military career, adding, “First and foremost the defendant has shown real remorse and has taken steps to address the underlying psychological problems” that he says led to the crimes.

Sullivan was charged in 2019 by the office of Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro after a search of his home revealed child pornography was on both his computer and laptop. Investigators discovered thousands of searches for “preteen” images, including photos of children “engaging in very graphic sexual acts,” according to Fox 43.

Sullivan was initially charged with 15 second-degree felony counts of sexual abuse of children and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.

“General Sullivan’s alleged actions disgrace his work and besmirch the Pennsylvania National Guard, an organization that has bravely and dutifully come to the aid of Pennsylvanians whenever they have been called,” Shapiro said. “I’ve said it time and time again — nobody is above the law. My Office will investigate and prosecute anyone who harms Pennsylvanians, no matter what positions of power they may hold.”

American Military News

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