Capt. Paul Sikkema, who is a philosophy professor teaching ethics at the Air Force Academy, has been arrested and charged with luring a child on the internet, a Class 4 felony.
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado announced Sikkema’s arrest on Twitter Wednesday. The arrest was carried out that day by the sheriff’s office’s Internet Crimes Against Children investigators.
In a statement, the academy confirmed Sikkema is one of their professors.
“We are tracking his civilian court case as it goes through the legal process and will cooperate fully as needed with the Arapahoe Sheriff’s Department,” the academy said.
Sikkema, 29, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is held under a no hold bond and is scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning, said Deborah Sherman, the public affairs officer at the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.
According to an arrest affidavit filed in Colorado’s 18th Judicial District, Sikkema is accused of chatting with an officer — who he believed to be a 14-year-old girl — online, via text message and over the phone in January. Sikkema allegedly made multiple lewd comments propositioning her sexually, the document said.
Sikkema earned his commission after graduating from the academy in 2012, and was named an outstanding graduate that year.
He wrote a thesis on the ethics of targeted killing while studying for his master’s degree at Georgia State University, according to his bio on the academy’s website, and became a philosophy professor at the academy in 2017.
This story was updated April 25 with information from the arrest affidavit for Sikkema.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.