Another court-martial began Friday of a former Air Force boot camp instructor accused of dereliction of duty, assaulting male trainees, and trying to develop unprofessional sexual relationships with female trainees.
In the Article 32 evidentiary hearing late last year, four female airmen testified that Staff Sgt. Ryan Deraas found them on Facebook and began sexting them and sending them photos.
America’s wars have long taken their toll on the people who fight them, and the recent attention to post-traumatic stress disorder has helped improve treatment for those who suffer; however, nightly newscasts and newspaper headlines never mention the military working dogs who are also changed by the combat zone.
"Ultimately we want these dogs to become military working dogs and go down range and save lives,” said Tech. Sgt. Joe Null, who fosters canine companions for the first few months of their lives to socialize them.
(Update: 2/22/2013) Military Judge Don Eller ruled the government’s 77-page list of cell phone data violates the instructor’s Constitutional rights, saying investigators extracted the information without a search warrant.
He added that at some point during the investigation, somebody at Joint Base San Antonio should have had a light bulb go on that told them to find a magistrate and file affidavits to get a search warrant.
(Update: 02/15/2013): The judge sentenced LeBlanc to prison for 30 months, reduced his rank to E-1 and issued an order for a dishonorable discharge. Seventy-seven days will be subtracted from his sentence, which LeBlanc has spent in pre-trial lockup due to continued misbehavior.
(Original Post: 02/14/2013): Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc was acquitted Thursday on charges of aggravated sexual assault of a female trainee who had just graduated boot camp, but the former military training instructor is facing punishment for 11 other offenses.
On Wednesday, Staff Sgt. Donald Davis was found not guilty of abusive sexual contact with a trainee, but after submitting its acquittal, the military jury learned that Davis pled guilty to having an unprofessional sexual relationship with a technical trainee prior to the start of the court-martial.
On Thursday the jury deliberated for about two hours before returning with a three-pronged sentence: A reduction in rank to E-3, three months’ hard labor and a bad conduct discharge. He could have received a prison sentence instead of the discharge.
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.