Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Strategic Moves: Owner of aircraft charter company accused of having sex with 14-year-old

Statement from Strategic Moves ➤

Steven Robert Setzer

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. - The owner of an aircraft charter company located at the Mid-Carolina Regional Airport, and a former Marine One pilot, is in jail in Georgia accused of having sex with a 14-year-old.

Steven Setzer was taken into custody on May 20 but his arrest is just now coming to light. Setzer was found in a wooded area, near a church, with a 14-year-old and “used condoms lying on the ground,” according to the Pooler Police Department. He was charged with several sex offenses including aggravated child molestation, sodomy, statutory rape and enticing a child for indecent purposes.

He is being held without bond at the Chatham County Jail, near Savannah, Georgia.

“Steve has just lived an exemplary life,” said Michael Anderson, an attorney for the Setzer family, who also represents Setzer’s company, Strategic Moves. “This is a decorated war veteran, a man who flew the president. He’s beloved by so many friends, family and they’re standing by him during this time.”

Strategic Moves, a private aircraft charter company, closed operations at the Mid-Carolina Regional Airport in Salisbury last month. Rowan County officials said vacated its hangar lease agreement due to “financial difficulties and the loss of clients,” according to The Salisbury Post.

Anderson, speaking exclusively to FOX 46, says the company’s closing wasn’t due to money issues but rather the arrest of its founder.

“Steve remains incarcerated and he has since May 20th,” said Anderson. “And it became untenable. He was a vital part of this company.”

A source with knowledge of the case tells FOX 46 the alleged victim listed his age as 18 on a dating app. Records show the teen told police several times that he was 18 when initially questioned by law enforcement.

“When I first asked the juvenile how old he was, he stated that he was 18,” Ofc. Selton Morrow wrote in the arrest report.

The teen later admitted that “he was only 14” when pressed by police.

“Georgia remains ‘strict liability,’” said Anderson. “It doesn’t matter how convincingly someone was lied to. If they interact with an underage person, they meet the elements of that crime.”

Strategic Moves opened at the Mid-Carolina Regional Airport in 2015 and promised to bring more than a dozen jobs and millions of dollars worth of aircraft to Rowan County.

“Thank you for your patronage and loyalty over the last 15 years as clients of Strategic Moves,” an announcement on the website reads. “Strategic Moves has discontinued operations as of 10/31/2019. Many of our clients have transitioned to Davinci Jets who are capable and excited to provide an excellent level of service.”

According to Setzer’s now-removed bio, he was a Marine pilot who was awarded a combat “air medal for heroism” in Desert Storm. He was also a Marine One pilot for President Bill Clinton and worked in the White House from 1993 to 1997. Part of his job was to certify the helicopter was safe after maintenance.

Setzer now faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.

“He is facing a potential maximum of two life sentences plus 30 years,” according to Kristin Fulford, the spokesperson for the Chatham County District Attorney.

“Mistake of fact as to the victim’s age is not a defense to these charges in Georgia,” she added.

Story and video ➤

Steven Robert Setzer

SALISBURY — The owner of a private charter aircraft company that leased space at Mid-Carolina Regional Airport until recently has been jailed in Georgia and accused of sex offenses against a child.

Steven Robert Setzer, the owner of Strategic Moves, which moved in 2015 to a facility county government built for the company, was charged with enticing a child for indecent purposes, sexual exploitation of children, aggravated child molestation, sodomy and statutory rape, according to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.

Setzer, 57, was arrested May 20th by the Pooler Police Department and remains in the Chatham County Jail. Both are in the Savannah, Georgia, area.

Meanwhile, the company and Rowan County government have terminated Strategic Moves’ lease at the local airport. The company ceased operations at the end of October and will vacate its hangar lease agreement because of “financial difficulties and the loss of clients,” according to an agreement approved by county commissioners Monday.

According to the company’s website, the company ceased operations as of October 31st and has referred clients to Davinci Jets. The company leased roughly 4,200 square feet of office space and a hangar at the airport. Before opening at the Rowan airport, Setzer set up his business at Statesville Regional Airport.

The business had been open since February 2002. It specializes in managing privately owned airplanes and provides pilots, concierge services, administrative record-keeping, and aircraft cleaning and detailing.

County Attorney Jay Dees said earlier this week both parties also agreed to terminate a “relocation grant agreement” in addition to ending the lease effective Nov. 30. The county entered into the relocation agreement on April 17th, 2015, and entered into a corporate hangar lease effective Jan. 1, 2016.

A document finalizing the lease and relocation grant agreement termination was approved Monday as part of Rowan County commissioners’ consent agenda, which is used for items without opposition.

The county will have access to the hangar on December 1st, Dees said.

Rowan County Commissioner Greg Edds declined to discuss Setzer’s arrest but said the lease termination leaves the county with a great opportunity.

“We have a Class A, 15,000 square-foot hangar and Class A office space attached to it at a time when those things are a premium. This gives us a great opportunity to write the next chapter in Mid-Carolina Regional Airport,” Edds said.

Strategic Moves had locations in South Carolina; North Carolina; Virginia; Colorado; British Columbia, Canada; and Finland. The company also mentors pilots and provides transition training for pilots who want to learn to fly planes of different sizes.

Setzer called Rowan County the “right location for his company headquarters” in a 2015 news release.

According to WBTV’s David Whisenant, Setzer is a retired Marine Corps pilot who served on the crew of the presidential helicopter Marine One, supporting the White House and former President Bill Clinton.

As a Marine One maintenance officer and functional test pilot, Setzer was one of a select team authorized to certify the president’s helicopter as safe for flight after maintenance, according to the biography.

A statement provided to Strategic Moves employees after Setzer’s arrest and obtained by the Post said in part: “In the latter part of May 2019, Steve Setzer, the founder, president and owner of Strategic Moves, took an indefinite leave of absence from flight duties and day-to-day operations of the company to attend to an important personal matter.”

The statement said that while on a training trip, Setzer communicated with someone on an adult dating app and then met that person, who was not 18, contrary to information in an online profile.

The statement said that prosecutors allege Setzer engaged in relations with that individual.

“But while that process unfolds, the Strategic Moves family will continue to hope and pray for a just outcome for Steve,” the statement said.

Original article ➤


  1. Reminds me of the Canadian Air Force Col. who had flown the Queen around who was later found to be a murdering sex pervert. His name was stricken from all records and it is as if he never existed.
    It doesn't change the fact that this American was a truly gifted airman who fought for his country and I respect him for that.

  2. The guy is an amoral bastard as he did this while being married. But I don't believe that makes him a criminal.
    The penal industrial system needs customers. This guy is basically done for Life and will provide 40-50k an inmate generates in revenue for said penal industrial system for the rest of his Life.
    Funny how he would get a lighter potential sentence if he killed someone.
    He met a teenager who lied about his age. But apparently Georgia is a "full liability" state. How convenient for the penal industrial system.
    Let's just annihilate a whole company too and have people laid off so a prosecutor can claim his 99% conviction rate.
    Unless you check the ID of anyone you meet, and that could be a fake ID for which you have none of the tools to recognize it as such, then you are basically screwed if that person lied to you.

  3. Also by comparison someone can lie to you at a gun show or during a person to person sale of a gun (the famous gun show loophole) and say they are not a felon, then go on a murderous shooting rampage, but because you didn't have the background check tools a regular firearm dealer has you will be off the hook in terms of liability. In fact an entire mass shooting can happen with guns you sold using the gun show loophole and no one can sue you or hold you responsible.
    How funny the double standard. Because per "strict liability" rules.
    Like Hitler said... "For the children" is the perfect add on to anything to enslave people. Or support either the military industrial or penal industrial complex.

  4. Anon @ Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at 9:59:00 PM EST --- You mean 'Russ Williams' ... I knew him; when I saw his name in the paper after he was arrested I was not the least bit surprised... 'nuff said.


    Interesting to see the penal industrial complex is already preemptively setting up to quell any technology that would suppress the liability of sex with one's fantasies, thus virtually eliminating actual sex crimes on actual people.

    Same as self driving cars will annihilate the DUI cash cow (20-30k into the system per DUI) which is a related development.

    Of course the right thing to do would be to concentrate on the real perverts and criminals out there that are truly sick, but that wouldn't be enough customers.

    It is interesting most of "Prison Reform" frees people who are mentally ills and therefore useless for the slave labor done in jails or penitentiaries, while anything else if criminalized to generate maximum $$$.

    California seems a prime example for that matter, flooded by a rash of homeless and mentally ill released from jail, while able bodied minorities and anyone caught in the system like the guy above will stay there a very long time.

  6. A married man screwing an underage boy, in the woods, near a church erases any "good" he may have hidden behind. People who habitually speed in cars are not caught every time they are speeding. Same goes for homosexual pedophiles. Not his first time....

  7. ^^^Unfortunately, it seems very likely the case that Harry is correct. Highly doubtful that a 57 year old married man simply decides one day to so something he's never done or even considered before in his life - download a dating app and meet up with a young stranger of the same sex for a tryst in the woods. Of course he is at this point still presumed innocent, as none of the charges have been proven in a court of law. That being said, things are not looking good for Mr. Setzer at this time nor do they seem like they'll be turning out well in the future. What a story - not at all the type of thing I come to this blog for - this is pretty far from a cautionary tale about ignoring weather reports and flying into IMC without an instrument rating...

  8. Regarding self driving cars, I don't foresee states allowing those "monitoring" the AI driving to get away with being over the limit drunk. Not anytime soon anyway as society in general still does not trust it to completely remove the driver from operational duties which includes monitoring the AI to make sure it doesn't fail or make a mistake (as we've seen with Telsa). In many states, you can get a DUI with the vehicle parked and the engine shut off so long as the key/fob is inside it (and they don't even have to be in the ignition).

    Anyway, back to this guy, if he is proven guilty of the charges, it just goes to show that no matter the impressive accolades people have, you never know what they are thinking behind their faces. That said, one may never know if he truly believed the teen was 18 and not younger. That will be irrelevant for the grand jury to take into consideration however with the Georgia law.

    Either way it doesn't matter though. The former Marine One pilot and business owner adversely affected his family, his career, his life, and the lives of many others involved in that now-shuttered business. He was retired so he's probably getting the half salary at retirement rank lifetime pension. His wife will have to find out if she can receive those benefits while he spends what could be the rest of his life in prison if convicted. Tragic all the way around and a real shame if found to be true.

  9. Was he married? Didn’t see that in the article.