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Master Chief Convicted in Sex Sting Gets Discharge Qualifying Him for Some Benefits

FOXNews.com has learned that a former command master chief caught in a sex sting and discharged from the U.S. Navy continues to receive a partial pension and medical benefits despite a conviction as a sex offender.

Former Command Master Chief Edward E. Scott, 43, was arrested in March 2007 after a month-long covert Internet operation near Seattle uncovered Scott’s communication with someone he believed to be a mother with 12-year-old twins. The woman was actually an undercover agent.

Scott asked the woman to get a hotel room with her children, giving graphic detail of specific sex acts he wanted to perform on the children and for the children to perform on him.

Scott, now a registered child sex offender, was convicted of attempted child rape and sentenced to 9 months in jail and undergo a three-year sex treatment program.

Previous local news reports initially stated incorrectly that Scott received an honorable discharge. FOX News reviewed the "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty" at the Pentagon and confirmed that Scott's discharge status was "other than honorable", but allows him benefits such as a reduced pension, medical and dental benefits.

The discharge status is protected under the Privacy Act but FOX News was granted permission to view it after repeated requests.

Lt. Candice Tresch, a Navy spokeswoman confirmed that Scott continues to have access to Naval Base Kitsap for dental and medical care after he notifies the installation. Scott can also go to the base commissary or grocery store.

“He can only go on the base to get items that he’s entitled to,” Tresch said.

Scott was allowed to retire at a level below his rank as master chief, which qualified him to receive some pension benefits, Tresch said.

Scott signed the form acknowledging the discharge status.

"I understand that I have been barred from any Navy region Northwest installation or facility other than those which I am statutorily entitled, specifically medical, commissary, and exchange facilities, by order of the Secretary of the Navy," according to the document.

The discharge status also bars Scott from Naval service.

"I understand that I am being assigned to a reenlistment code of RE-4 for being a convicted/registered child sex offender which absolutely precludes me from being recalled to active duty in any capacity and for any purpose," according to the document.

An honorable discharge entitles Scott to more benefits. Scott's "other than honorable" discharge status -- the most severe that can be given without a court martial -- is in between honorable, general and "dishonorable" or "bad conduct" discharges, both of which would strip all military benefits.

A service member can elect the "other than honorable" status to avoid a court martial, Tresch said.

Scott used his computer at work to chat online with the mother in sexually explicit and graphic conversations, police say. The former command master chief, who served in the Navy for more than two decades, had no previous criminal history.

He was later arrested of second-degree attempted rape of a child and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Scott served 9 months in jail for his crime and is currently undergoing an intensive sex offender treatment program, said Eric Fong, Scott's attorney.

"He paid a horrible price for his indiscretion," Fong said. "He's paying his debt to society."

Fong wouldn't comment on the discharge status but said Scott received an appropriate sentence for his crime.

Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge recommended more jail time for Scott but the judge overruled with a treatment-based option.

“What he did was a horrible crime and generally speaking, when people do crimes like that, our response is they should pay punitively,” Hauge said. “He was a criminal, is a criminal and should have been locked up.”

Tresch said the Navy reversed its policy to allow media to review Scott's discharge status due to the importance of the case. “It was a high public concern,” Tresch said. “In order to rectify, we were authorized to set the record straight.”

FOX News' Justin Fishel contributed to this report.