sergeant is accused of significantly less serious charges than MTI who got twenty years
The second court martial of a Lackland AFB Military Training Instructor in connection with the sex scandal which has scarred the base’s reputation begins today, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Technical Sgt. Christopher Smith is facing much less serious charges than Staff Sergeant Luis Walker, who was convicted on 28 charges, including rape, earlier this month and was sentenced to twenty years in prison.
“There are only two alleged victims in this case, compared to ten in the other case,” said Col. Polly Kenny, a spokeswoman for the Second Air Force Judge Advocate’s office.
Smith is accused of wrongfully seeking to develop and conduct a personal and intimate relationship with a trainee, wrongfully making sexual advances toward a trainee, and wrongfully carrying on a personal social relationship with a second trainee, as well as obstruction of justice.
Unlike Walker, Smith is appearing before a Special Court Martial, which can only sentence defendants to terms of up to 12 months in prison, and forfeiture of just two thirds basic pay per month for twelve months, and a bad conduct discharge.
The General Court Martial which convicted Walker can hand out sentences up to death, and a dishonorable discharge, the worst form of discharge.
Kenny says essentially, Smith is charged with attempting to do what Walker did.
“Sergeant Smith is charged with attempting to have a sexual relationship with a trainee,” she said.
Smith is the third MTI to face justice in the scandal, which has snared six sergeants and has left another dozen under investigation. 38 women have now come forward to claim they were victims of inappropriate behavior by MTIs.
The first MTI to face justice, Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado, pled guilty and was sentenced to ninety days in jail, and he agreed to provide evidence to prosecutors investigating the case.