CAP ARCHER Developer Convicted of Child Molestation

Civil Air Patrol

By Justin Jouvenal | The Washington Post

[Editor’s Note: A Recent Contribution by a Reader. ARCHER was researched and developed under the direction of CAP’s all-volunteer Advanced Technologies Group, headed up by Col Drew Alexa, CAP, of Colorado Springs, Co and Lt Col John C. Kershenstein, CAP, of Fairfax Station, VA. ARCHER is a custom-designed system of hyper-spectral imaging hardware and software that is used by the Civil Air Patrol.]

In Oct 2012, former Fairfax County official, [Civil Air Patrol’s ARCHER Developer] and physicist for the Naval Research Laboratory was sentenced to two years in prison Friday for molesting a young girl in the 1980s.

John C. Kershenstein, 71, of Fairfax Station, was convicted of one count of aggravated sexual battery in July. He had served on the county’s Planning Commission for about 30 years and on the Redevelopment and Housing Authority.

Before Kershenstein was sentenced, his victim, who is now 37, testified about the impact of the molestation, which she said occurred over a number of years.

Kershenstein was charged with molestation that occurred in 1985, when the woman was 10. At the time, she and her mother were living with Kershenstein and his wife.

“You need to accept what you are doing is wrong,” the woman said from the stand, looking directly at Kershenstein. “I wish you would do the right thing.”

The woman testified that she chose to come forward because she has a daughter who is getting older and she learned Kershenstein had a granddaughter of his own. She said she feared the girl might be molested too.

Kershenstein rose and expressed remorse.

“I take full responsibility for all that I have done,” Kershenstein said, addressing the woman. ”I apologize to you and your family.”

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3 Comments on "CAP ARCHER Developer Convicted of Child Molestation"

  1. PattLottStory | August 15, 2019 at 02:51 | Reply

    You used to have a story on here about Civil Air Patrol member Patrick Lott who was caught secretly videotaping teenage boys as they showered at a central New Jersey high school, according to the Somerset County prosecutor’s office. We can’t find it, just letting you know.

  2. I remember Archer. I always wondered why it disappeared. It apparently died because the chief architect went to prison.

  3. Since the primary motive of the evil is disguise, one of the places evil people are most likely to be found is within a youth oriented organization such as the CAP.

    What better way to conceal one’s evil from oneself, as well as from others, than to be a CAP leader or some other highly visible form of leader within our culture?

    I do not mean to imply that the evil are anything other than a small minority among the CAP or that the motives of most members are in any way spurious. I mean only that evil members tend to gravitate towards the CAP for the disguise and concealment it can offer them.

    Child molesters appear to gravitate toward careers which will shield and camouflage them, while at the same time providing access to victims. They consciously or unconsciously choose career paths that will bring them regularly in contact with the youth.

    Many are highly respected members of the CAP and community. Some are in positions of authority over children–pilots, commanders, staff officers, chaplains.

    With this in mind, I would vacate all and any youth you have from the CAP.

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