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Ex-Centcom employee sentenced 10 years on child sex charge


Published:   |   Updated: June 14, 2013 at 08:47 AM

A former Centcom employee was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison Thursday for trying to entice a teen to have sex.
 
Steven Governale, 50, who pleaded guilty in January, also was ordered to serve a 10-year term of supervision, according to court records.
 
He also must register as a sex offender and forfeit the computer and cellphone he used to communicate with a 17-year-old from the Orlando area, according to the plea agreement he reached with prosecutors.
 
An active member of the reserve since 1997, and lieutenant colonel since 2006, Governale had earned accolades for his work.
 
He was named one of two Centcom civilian employees of the year in 2010. He served for a decade as co-director of the patrol's Cadet Officer School, a 10-day program where cadets from across the United States gather at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
 
Governale was arrested Sept. 21, 2012, for using the Internet to entice a teen from Seminole County to meet him for sex, the FBI said. Investigators say they found evidence of "many, many" sexually explicit conversations with young men on his cellphone.
 
On Sept. 11, the parents of the teen said they saw sexually explicit conversations between Governale and their son on Facebook, according to investigators.
 
The parents contacted the FBI, and the teen told agents that he met Governale in 2009, according to a complaint. The teen said that he went on two trips with Governale, stayed in the same bed with him, watched pornographic movies in the hotel and engaged in a "contest" in which they touched each other sexually, according to the complaint.
 
Pretending to be the teen, an agent from the FBI Innocent Images Task Force engaged in sexually explicit Facebook chats with Governale, who agreed to meet at a Wendy's in Orlando, according to the complaint. Instead of the teen, Governale was met by FBI agents, who arrested him.
 
FBI agent Rod Hyre testified at Governale's bail hearing that the victim was a member of the Civil Air Patrol when he met Governale, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen L. Gable.
 
Hyre testified that four other young men with whom Governale is accused of having sexual contact also were members of the patrol, according to Gable.
 
The Seminole teen said Governale spoke often about those young men, according to the plea agreement. He said Governale took part in similar "contests" with the youths, according to the plea agreement.

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