Air Force base sex abuse trial heads to closings
by Will Weissert, Associated Press
July 20, 2012 11:15 AM | 587 views | 1 1 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In this July 16, 2012 file photo, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis A. Walker arrives from a lunch break during his court martial at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. A seven-member jury of military personnel is set to hear closing arguments in a case considered the cornerstone of a massive sex scandal at an Air Force base in Texas. Walker is among 12 instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio who are being investigated, and faces the most serious charges _ seven counts, including rape and aggravated sexual assault. If convicted, Walker could get life in prison. (AP Photo/The San Antonio Express-News, Jerry Lara, File)
In this July 16, 2012 file photo, U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Luis A. Walker arrives from a lunch break during his court martial at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. A seven-member jury of military personnel is set to hear closing arguments in a case considered the cornerstone of a massive sex scandal at an Air Force base in Texas. Walker is among 12 instructors at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio who are being investigated, and faces the most serious charges _ seven counts, including rape and aggravated sexual assault. If convicted, Walker could get life in prison. (AP Photo/The San Antonio Express-News, Jerry Lara, File)
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SAN ANTONIO (AP) _ Closing arguments were planned Friday in the trial of a Texas Air Force base instructor facing the most serious charges in a broad military sex abuse scandal.

A seven-member jury of military personnel is hearing the court-martial of Staff Sgt. Luis Walker at Lackland Air Force base. Walker is charged with 28 counts including rape and aggravated sexual assault involving at least 10 women in basic training at the San Antonio base.

Lackland, one of the busiest military training centers in the country, is where every American airman receives basic training. Walker is among 12 of the base’s instructors being investigated for sexual misconduct toward at least 31 female trainees starting in 2009.

Six instructors have been charged on counts ranging from rape to adultery, and Walker is the first to stand trial. He faces the most serious charges and prosecutors call his trial a cornerstone of the larger investigation.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys both rested Thursday, after just three days of testimony.

Prosecutors called 14 witnesses, including one alleged victim who gave a video deposition because she had recently given birth and could not travel to the base.

On Tuesday, one alleged victim fought back tears as she testified that Walker lured her into his office and sexually assaulted her on a bed, ignoring her pleas for him to stop. She and others told jurors they were afraid that reporting Walker’s actions would get them kicked out of the Air Force.

The Associated Press typically doesn’t identify alleged sexual assault victims.

The defense called just one witness, Technical Sgt. Richard Capestro, who testified that instructors and trainees at the Lackland base are under constant surveillance and officials conduct surprise inspections of trainee dormitory areas without warning _ seemingly attempting to cast doubt on the possibility Walker could have committed rape and sexual assault on the premises.

Capestro said there are cameras in the hallways and at least some of the stairwells around base dormitories, and that open microphones allow an official on duty in a control room to push a button and listen in on any activity in the dorms.

Lackland has about 475 instructors for the approximately 35,000 airmen who graduate every year. About one in five is female, pushed through eight weeks of basic training by a group of instructors, 90 percent of whom are men.

Once the case goes to the jury, under Air Force court rules, its members consider every charge and can reach a guilty verdict on each with a simple two-thirds majority vote.

If Walker is found guilty on any charge, sentencing begins immediately and is also decided by the jury.

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Keith R Radford Jr
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August 06, 2012
ranging from rape to adultery?, Adultery? I am not aquatinted with the case but I am aquatinted or at least have meet a officer "woman" who talked of this kind of case coming to trial when I meet her in San Diego, California with my brother who was stationed there at the time, his name is Homer Dale Radford and she confronted me when we were getting gas for a trip to Mexico on base when she said we were under camera. So how long do women wait to act out? She asked me to keep quite which I did till now about the particulars even asking me to say it was a guy, like the Admiral that gave me a cyanid pill and a compass when I was like 4 1/2 years old asking me to say the General, so now that I owe no one any more favors and I am going to the same attorney my mom said she would kill me if I went to and saw the same office when I was a kid and a string of other thing I have not devolved as long as the road map of America do you think maybe someone would care that our sex laws are so out dated and the UK has a sweet red headed woman in jail for doing what she was told ny her boss and I wonder how much these people will keep from everyone like the use of drugs that our government forces on people to make them think they are doing right while the money goes in the pocket of the cop trying to make movies and get rich and the person drugged is blamed for the crime or the guy that goes to prison only to be released and given n\a new identity and plane ticket to go do something else the government wants done. Our justice system is as bad as the lies told to the people on TV every day. Peace at what cost? Is what we see today peace, and did you know it's going to catch up with us?
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