Lackland Instructor Acquitted On Reasonable Doubt

Jan 31, 2013

Staff Sgt. Donald Davis was charged with abusive sexual contact by touching a trainee and placing her in fear of her military career through the abuse of his authority. However, the defense argued the jury could not convict if there was reasonable doubt that the events occurred.

The military jury vote in the seventh court-martial indicated that the government had not met its burden of proof in the case.

Lt. Col Mark Hoover of the Judge Advocate General’s office in San Antonio said most of the Lackland cases lack physical evidence because incidents are not immediately reported.

"That's a good point because a lot of these allegations only came forward after the Air Force dug into it and started asking trainees if anything happened," said Hoover. "In this case, the evidence the government put forward consisted primarily of the testimony of the alleged victim and the fellow trainee whom she confided in. The defense pointed out that there wasn’t a lot of corroborating physical evidence."

Most conspicuously absent from physical evidence was a measuring tape that the trainee testified the instructor used to measure her breasts, waist and buttocks.

Before the court-martial on the abusive sexual contact charges, Davis plead guilty to a charge of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a technical trainee. The jury will now decide his punishment for that offense.