More cases have come to light in the ongoing Air Force inquiry of military training instructors at Joint Base Lackland. The investigation that unofficially began 18 months ago has revealed an overall problem with abuses of power by instructors.
The first case of sexual assault was reported in June of 2011, and a year later the air education and training commander ordered a command investigation into allegations against more than a dozen training instructors.
Some local members of the military got a treat at the Warrior and Family Support Center Wednesday when Budweiser brought in its famous Clydesdale horse team to visit with the soldiers and their families.
These horses meet millions of people each year, and a gentle disposition is a key characteristic.
The Air Force is now investigating 28 basic training instructors for improper relationships and abuse of power involving 54 alleged victims from Lackland Air Force Base.
The latest Article 32 hearing marks the first time an instructor has been charged with assault and battery against male trainees.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Deraas is charged with pursuing sexual relationships with five female trainees in a brother flight, and with maltreatment and assault and battery of seven male trainees in his own flight.
On Thursday the investigating officer heard from three of the alleged victims in the case against Tech Sgt. Samuel Wicks. He also received stacks of evidence -- over 30 exhibits -- including victim statements, photos, and a sexually explicit video.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Jackson faces four allegations of developing unprofessional relationships and having sexual relations with two trainees.
One of the two women testified in the Article 32 hearing at Lackland that she viewed Jackson as a good leader and friend, and that he helped her decide to remain in the military at a time when she wanted to quit. She said it was later that she pursued a relationship with him.
A program unique to the United States Air Force and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland is the Inter-American Forces Academy where servicemen and women from countries like Bolivia, Colombia and Peru take classes to learn maintenance, leadership and technical skills.