HONOLULU (KHON2) — An Army veteran was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison for abusive sexual contact with a child under 12 and sexual abuse of a child when he lived at Hickam Air Force Base and at Joint Base Lewis McChord.

Shawn Matthew Wilcher’s sentence of 225 months was issued in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, Washington on Monday, July 18.

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Wilcher, 40, must register as a sex offender. He will be on lifetime supervised release when his prison term is completed.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin H. Settle said at the sentencing that the crime, “was horrendously serious… the victim endured repeated violence over a long period of time…. She endured unimaginable terror.”

The Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Washington records filed in the case show that Wilcher was married to an active-duty enlisted soldier when they lived on Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii between October 2015 and January 2018. The couple also lived at Joint Base Lewis McChord in Washington State from October 2018 to May 2019. Wilcher admitted he molested a young girl under his care when he lived at both military bases in his plea agreement.

The victim told the abuse to a friend who told a school counselor in May 2019.

The Army Criminal Investigative Division and the FBI launched an investigation.

Wilcher has been in custody since he was arrested on May 25, 2019.

Wilcher plead guilty to the charges on August 23, 2021 in Hawaii and Washington state.

Wilcher served tours of duty with the Army in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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“This type of horrific abuse of a young child cannot be explained or justified, despite whatever demons Mr. Wilcher battles from his military service.  His crimes have created ripples of destruction many times over,” said U.S. Attorney Nick Brown.  “He will get treatment for the PTSD he blames for his conduct, but studies indicate this young victim will suffer long-lasting trauma throughout her life – trauma that is difficult, if not impossible, to remedy.”