An Air Force squadron commander in Nevada was arrested Sept. 8 for allegedly sexually abusing a child.

Lt. Col. Kevin J. DiFalco, commander of the 57th Operations Support Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base before his arrest, was arrested on seven charges of lewdness in the presence of a child and one charge of child abuse or neglect, court records show.

On the day of the arrest, the alleged victim told her school counselor that DiFalco had sporadically sexually assaulted her from December 2021 to June 2022, according to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department report. The counselor quickly notified the police.

The alleged victim told police that day that DiFalco had long groomed her for the abuse, including by sending her inappropriate Snapchat messages and mailing her lingerie, once with a note that said he wanted to see her wearing it, according to the police report.

She also told police that DiFalco had a distinctive tattoo in his groin region; police verified the existence of the tattoo, according to the police report.

Las Vegas news station 8 News Now broke the news of the charges.

“Probable Cause existed for the defendant’s arrest,” court records state. “Therefore, the defendant’s biological specimen shall be submitted to the appropriate forensic laboratory for genetic marker analysis.”

DiFalco posted bail the day after his arrest, according to court records.

“The 57th Wing Commander, Brig. Gen. Richard Goodman, relieved the 57th Operations Support Squadron Commander Sept. 8 due to allegations of personal misconduct,” Lucretia Cunningham, a spokesperson for Nellis Air Force Base, wrote in a statement to Air Force Times. “Lt. Col. Kevin DiFalco was arrested at his residence Sept. 8 and is under investigation by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, in coordination with the Air Force.”

The 57th Operations Support Squadron manages Nellis’ airfield and airspace scheduling, in addition to providing air traffic control for the base.

In 2020 and 2021, DiFalco served as the operations officer of the Thunderbirds, the Air Force’s elite flight demonstration team, which is also based at Nellis.

“On behalf of Mr. DiFalco it is important to note that as of today, he has been charged with no crime, as no formal criminal charges have been filed against my client,” a lawyer for DiFalco, Josh Tomsheck, wrote in a statement to Air Force Times. “Mr. DiFalco denies the allegations as they have been reported in the press and very much looks forward to the full facts of this situation coming to light through the court process.”

DiFalco’s next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 11.

Irene Loewenson is a staff reporter for Marine Corps Times. She joined Military Times as an editorial fellow in August 2022. She is a graduate of Williams College, where she was the editor-in-chief of the student newspaper.

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