Eighteen women have testified or given written statements that an Air Force recruiter committed sex crimes against them in an Article 32 evidentiary hearing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Some of the women said the events caused them to give up on their dreams of joining the Air Force.
A recruiter’s assistant testified in the final day of the hearing that she tried to push him away, but that Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez sodomized and raped her in a back room of the recruiting office he ran near Houston.
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.