JBER soldier charged in ‘sexting’ case with Homer girl

Homer Police have charged a Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson soldier in a “sexting” case last summer involving a Homer teenager under the age of 16. Michael R. Wiedemann Jr., 20, faces charges online enticement of a minor and possession of child pornography, both felonies. “Sexting” is the practice of sending pornographic messages and photos by cell phone.

In a criminal complaint filed Dec. 5, Homer Police Officer Jim Knott said that in late July a Homer woman reported her daughter had received text messages from an adult asking her to send him pornographic images of the girl. Knott met with the mother and daughter, and the girl said she had met a 20-year-old man named Michael on an airplane flight from Oregon to Anchorage. 

They continued the relationship by text message. Knott said the girl said she told Michael her exact age and that he tried to discontinue their contact, but at her insistence they did not.

To avoid identifying the girl, the Homer News is not reporting her exact age, but the complaint charges Wiedemann under a section of Alaska law prohibiting online enticement of a child under age 16.

The girl told police Weidemann asked for pornographic photos of her and she sent him one of herself fully nude but with her face not visible. 

In August, Knott and Homer Police Officer Larry Baxter examined the girl’s cell phone and saw a photo of a man in a military uniform with the last name “Wiedemann” visible. Another photo showed a nude girl with the face not visible, but with distinguishing body marks similar to those in other photos where the girl is clothed and her face is visible, and the image appears to be that of the girl, police said.

In October, the Anchorage Police Department Cyber Crimes unit got a search warrant on Wiedemann’s room at JBER and seized two Apple iPhones. 

An APD detective found several instances of the nude photo of the girl, one with a created date of July 27. APD also found a text message dated July 13 that said, “To be completely honest, I’m __,” with her exact age.

Anchorage Police interviewed Weidemann, and the criminal complaint said when asked what lead him to solicit the photos, he said, “I don’t know. I was probably just chillin’ in my room, bored, to be honest.” Weidemann said he wouldn’t send the girl’s photo out to social media, the APD detective said.

A warrant was served on Weidemann on Dec. 9, but he is not in state custody.

Michael Armstrong can be reached at michael.armstrong@homernews.com.