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Air Guardsman from Goddard faces federal sex charge in Texas

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Monday, April 7, 2014, at 1:23 p.m.
  • Updated Thursday, May 8, 2014, at 5:20 p.m.

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A senior Kansas Air Guardsman stationed at McConnell Air Force Base faces a federal charge of having sex with a girl on a cruise ship.

An April 18 preliminary hearing is set for Paul Francis Grimm in Galveston, Texas, according to a federal complaint. He is charged with having sex with a minor after taking her across state lines.

Grimm, 42, a senior master sergeant, works full time at McConnell Air Force Base as the facilities manager for the Guard’s 184th Intelligence Wing, Guard spokeswoman Sharon Watson said Monday.

“If these allegations are substantiated, he will be terminated,” Watson said. “These are obviously very serious charges.”

Grimm, who lives in Goddard, was on leave last month when the incident allegedly happened, she added.

According to the complaint:

Grimm was arrested on March 29 in Galveston after he and the girl debarked a cruise ship. A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent became suspicious because they had different last names and because of their age difference.

The agent found naked pictures of the girl on Grimm’s cellphone and sex supplies in his luggage. The girl’s age was not given.

Upon questioning by FBI agents, the girl said she had sex with Grimm once and oral sex with him twice while on the cruise that started on March 24.

The girl told investigators she and Grimm became acquainted through a family member while he lived in Ohio with his children. She said he and his children moved to Kansas about two years ago.

He joined the Kansas Air Guard in 2003, but Watson said it’s possible to become a member before moving to the state.

Grimm told investigators that the girl had a “troubled upbringing and he wanted to be a mentor or father figure to her.”

The girl and Grimm kept in contact after he moved to Kansas through texts and phone calls. Over time, “their relationsip became flirtatious and on serveral occcasions they sent each other naked pictures of themselves via text messages,” the complaint said she told investigators.

She told investigators that Grimm asked her around Valentine’s Day if she would go on a cruise with him; she agreed.

They decided to tell her mother that she was joining Grimm and his children on the cruise. Investigators determined that his children didn’t go, and he purchased only two tickets.

Grimm also purchased the airline ticket to fly the girl from Cleveland to Houston, where he picked her up on March 23. They drove to Galveston that night and stayed at a hotel.

Grimm told investigators he had sex equipment in his luggage because he was single and had met someone on the cruise. He also told them he’d never had sex with the girl.

He is being held in the Galveston County Jail, according to jail records. No bond amount was listed.

Grimm spent 14 years in the active Air Force, Watson said, but she said she didn’t know when that was.

Reach Rick Plumlee at 316-268-6660 or rplumlee@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @rickplumlee.

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