Dalian Washington, one of two Dover airmen who pleaded guilty to having sex with a runaway 15-year-old girl, will spend 10 years in prison.
Washington, 25 of Philadelphia, was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware Tuesday. In October, he pleaded guilty to one count of sex trafficking of a child and prosecutors dropped charges of conspiracy and sex abuse of a minor.
Washington was 24 and an airman living at Dover Air Force Base when he bought his 15-year-old victim for sex, according to court documents. The teenager was in court for the sentencing and issued a statement through an attorney.
“Why do you want me to feel like less of a human?” the victim said. “Why instead of help me, you destroy me?”
He arranged the crime with a 16-year-old acquaintance, who knew a 15-year-old girl looking for a place to stay. He paid around $15 and both had the understanding sex was part of the arrangement, court documents stated.
“This didn’t start out where Mr. Washington was looking for someone of a tender age,” said Edson Bostic, a public defender representing Washington.
Washington first picked up the girl from the Dover DMV bus stop. On the way back to the barracks, she informed him she was 15 years old and he said they’d have to keep their interaction a secret, court documents stated.
Washington had unprotected sex with the girl. She stayed at his barracks room on and off for months from September 2015 to January 2016 and he continued to have unprotected sex with her, court documents state. He also recorded her performing oral sex, court documents state.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth L. Van Pelt said investigators had uncovered that Washington had sexual relationships with other underage girls.