An Army lieutenant colonel was convicted Tuesday by a Sacramento County jury, after a January incident when he propositioned a 13-year-old girl walking to a Land Park school to perform a sexual act.
Lt. Col. Jason Shepard, 41, was found guilty of solicitation of a minor with the intent to commit an act of oral copulation, and of annoying and molesting a child.
Shepard was based at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland and was in Sacramento on military business at the Army Depot on Fruitridge Road at the time of the offense.
On Jan. 31, Shepard was driving in a rental car and contacted a girl as she walked to California Middle School in Land Park, Sacramento police said. He told the young victim to get in the car and perform a sex act in exchange for money.
The girl refused, ran away and immediately reported the incident to school officials. Within minutes, an alert was broadcast to officers in the area and a Sacramento police officer saw a car matching the description provided by the victim. The officer got the license plate number and the car was traced to Shepard.
The victim identified the suspect and the car in a photo lineup. Shepard was arrested in March in Alexandria, Va.
Initial reports said Shepard also propositioned a 16-year-old girl that day.
"The victim in this case did everything we would hope a child would do in this situation," said Deputy District Attorney Allison Dunham. "She immediately ran from the defendant and reported the crime. She was able to provide important details about the defendant and the car that ultimately led to his arrest and conviction."
Shepard faces a possible maximum sentence of four years in state prison. Sentencing is set for Nov. 21.