Seattle, Washington - A North Carolina man was sentenced Friday to two years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, for abusive sexual contact with a minor, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran of the Western District of Washington announced.

Joseph Robertson, 38, of Sanford, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on June 6, to one count of abusive sexual contact before U.S. District Court Judge Ronald B. Leighton of the Western District of Washington, who sentenced him earlier.

According to facts admitted by the defendant during his guilty plea, Robertson was employed by the Department of Defense as a child and youth program assistant at Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany.  During the summer of 2016, while accompanying children from the Ramstein youth center to a swimming pool in a nearby town, Robertson engaged in abusive sexual contact with a minor who was 13-14 years old on multiple occasions, including touching the minor's genitals over the minor’s clothing.

The investigation of the case was conducted by U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the FBI, led by Seattle Division’s Tacoma Resident Agency Child Exploitation Task Force.

This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Kaylynn Foulon of the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Grady Leupold of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and CEOS, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.