WASHINGTON–Two men were convicted Thursday following a five-day jury trial in the District of Arizona for the sexual assault of a 17-year-old female in Landstuhl, Germany.
Joseph Martin, 20, of Peoria, Arizona, and Christopher Heikkila, 21, a U.S. citizen residing in Weilerbach, Germany, were each convicted of one count of sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact.
According to the evidence presented at trial, on or about Oct. 19, 2013, Martin and Heikkila sexually assaulted a 17-year-old female in Landstuhl while she was incapacitated. At the time, Martin and Heikkila were employees of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service on Ramstein Air Force Base in Ramstein, Germany, as well as dependents of civilian employees of the military. The Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act gives U.S. federal courts jurisdiction over felonies committed abroad by certain persons employed by or accompanying the U.S. military.
The trial evidence showed that, beginning on or before Oct. 13, 2013, Martin and Heikkila used social media websites to post comments and exchange a series of messages specifically targeting the victim and planning the sexual assault. The two men continued discussing the assault on social media after it occurred.
The sentencing hearing for Martin and Heikkila is scheduled for Nov. 16 before U.S. District Judge David Campbell of the District of Arizona, who presided over the trial.