The Lackland Air Force Base sex scandal erupted in the 2011/2012 time frame. Sig Christenson, a reporter from San Antonio Express, slowly began to reveal the sex scandal issues at the basic military training facility in Texas and reported on most of the courts martials initiated by the Air Force. As a result of the escalating media coverage and other forces at play, it gave military sexual assault advocacy organizations a reason to request hearings in front of the House Armed Services Committee. Congressional hearings were held on January 23, 2013. Both General Edward Rice and General Mark Welsh testified at this hearing along with two retired Air Force women and Dr. David Lisak. In the end, 35 Basic Military Training personnel were courts martialed for allegedly abusing trainees or sex related offenses. Now that the dust has settled and some time has passed, whistleblowers have disclosed that the Air Force investigations trampled on due process rights. And individuals were railroaded with collateral charges which forced them to take plea deals to avoid excessive punishments. Two were found guilty of rape and sentenced to twenty years. The Air Force is being accused of going on a “witch hunt” after being politically motivated to clean up the basic training facility while under the watchful eye of the media, advocates, and Congress. This post was inspired by Never Leave an Airman Behind: How the Air Force Faltered & Failed in the Wake of the Lackland Sex Scandal by Lt Col Craig Perry, USAF Retired.
SrA Christopher Oliver was a basic military training instructor at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He was one of the 35 instructors courts martialed after a base-wide investigation into what is now referred to as the Lackland Sex Scandal. SrA Oliver was accused of having unprofessional relationships with at least 4 new recruits and was accused of sexual assault and sodomy with one of those trainees. He was also accused of adultery and using his rank and authority to gain sexual favors. SrA Oliver pleaded guilty to unprofessional relationships and adultery. Oliver was found not guilty of aggravated sexual assault. In June 2013, a military judge convicted him of consensual sodomy, wrongful sexual contact, adultery, and unprofessional relationships. He may be listed on the sex offender registry because of the wrongful sexual contact conviction. SrA Oliver was sentenced to two years in prison and was given a dishonorable discharge. Although the actions for which he was found guilty were unprofessional and in fact UCMJ infractions, they were not criminal in nature yet he was sentenced to 2 years in prison for consensual sex and adultery, a law that doesn’t exist in the civilian world. The Air Force gave SrA Oliver the fifth longest sentence in the Lackland Sex Scandal. SSgt Craig LeBlanc had the fourth longest sentence at 2 1/2 years for unprofessional relationships & adultery. SSgt Eddy Soto had the third longest sentence at four years for rape but Soto’s conviction was later overturned by the Air Force Criminal Court of Appeals. The rape charge lacked sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. SSgt Luis Walker and MSgt Michael Silva both received twenty year sentences for rape and sexual assault.
Court Martial Today For Former Lackland Instructor
Trainer set up tryst as recruits went to church
Lackland instructor pleads guilty to 6 charges in sex case
Trainer to spend 2 years behind bars
Ex-Lackland trainer gets 2 years in sex scandal
The Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal, Texas (2011)
A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal