July 18, 2012
On Tuesday, a woman testified at a U.S. Air Force court-martial that a training instructor accused of serial sexual assault flirted with her and ultimately intimated her into have sex with him against her will.
The training instructor is accused of engaging in inappropriate sexual conduct with 10 female Air Force trainees.
The man has been charged with 28 counts, including rape, aggravated sexual assault, attempted aggravated sexual assault and adultery, which is a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Should he be convicted, he will face up to life in prison, as well as a dishonorable discharge.
This man’s case is the first to go to trial in what is being described as the biggest military sex scandal since 1996.
The woman testified that the man started out as friendly and nice, but that quickly escalated into flirting, a hug and a kiss on the lips. A month later, she claims the man called her into an office with a cot in it and suggested she have sex with him.
She alleges that the man would not take no for an answer. While she claims the two had sex, she apparently could not remember the details. She did say the encounter was not violent.
In fact, none of the women that have accused the man of sexual assault said he used threats or violence.
The man’s defense lawyer claims the man is being prosecuted for “the way he looked at recruits.”
Ten alleged victims are expected to testify at the court martial, which is scheduled to last into next week.
As of Tuesday, the military scandal widened further as it was announced that a seventh training instructor at the base has been referred for court martial. If convicted, this instructor could face up to 43 years in jail for sexually assaulting a female recruit during basic training.
According to reports, one of the accused trainers has pleaded guilty. Five more are expected to face courts-martial.
Another 35 trainers are being investigated.
According to the Air Force, 31 women have come forward with accusations.
This is the largest military sex scandal since a dozen officers and enlisted men were charged with inappropriate activity at the Aberdeen, Maryland U.S. Army base in 1996.
While the process is different in the military court system, in Florida, sexual assault is a felony crime carrying a mandatory prison sentence. Sexual assault covers many types of sex crimes, including rape, date rape, spousal rape, child sexual abuse, inappropriate touching and other nonconsensual sexual activity. The state also requires anyone convicted of a sex crime to register as a sex offender. The aftermath of a sex crimes conviction can follow a person for the rest of their life if these charges are not aggressively challenged by a sex crimes defense lawyer.
Being accused of sexual assault is undoubtedly a scary situation. For those accused or charged with a sex crime there is a lot at stake. These types of criminal investigations can make you feel that a conviction is inevitable. These feelings of hopelessness can stem from the fact that sex crimes can be difficult to disprove as allegations revolve around one person’s word against another’s. However, for prosecutor’s to obtain a conviction, a person must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
When facing sexual assault accusations, it is important to recognize that you have rights. Sexually motivated crimes require a powerful defense strategy, and there is no time to waste. The consequences associated with a sex crime conviction are substantial. It is vital to contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton if confronted with allegations that are sexual in nature. This is the only way to make sure your freedom and Constitutional rights are protected.
If you have been accused of or charged with sexual assault in the state of Florida, contact the Florida Sex Crimes Lawyers at Whittel & Melton online or call us statewide and toll-free at 1-866-608-5LAW (5529).