Court documents detail alleged relationship between Offutt Air Force Base employee, underaged girl

Civilian security officer John Channels was arrested in May
New details tonight in the case of a man accused of sexually assaulting a child.
Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:39 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Documents obtained by 6 News show that the Offutt Air Force Base security officer facing charges after his arrest in May carried on a sexual relationship with a girl starting when she was about 12 years old.

Arrested May 27, John Channels, 27, was charged with three felonies: first-degree sexual assault of a child, visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct of a child, and attempted intentional child abuse. Bond in the amount of $100,000 was set at his court appearance on May 31.

Court documents show that the victim told authorities in February that she had known Channels, a civilian employee at the base, since she was 10 years old — he was her taekwondo instructor. She said she had been in a sort of dating “relationship” with him from 2019-2021, when she was 12-14 years old, sending him sexual messages thanking him for “cuddles” and “love” and photos of herself in tight-fitting clothes or exposing her breasts and buttocks, the documents state.

The conversations showed that he had acknowledged he could get in trouble for having the photos, but encouraged her to continue sending them to her anyway, the court documents state. She also told authorities that when she was 12 or 13 years old, he forced her to perform oral sex on him and that he would drive her home from taekwondo lessons, forcing her to touch him while driving. Authorities had also gained access to an iPad belonging to Channels and found photos of the girl at this age in provocative photos, which she confirmed were her at ages 12, 13, and 14.

The alleged incidents, including sexual encounters, occurred in Atlantic, Iowa, as well as in Douglas County.

A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for July 11.

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