Case against Lackland trainer dropped over phone

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Associated Press

Posted on February 21, 2013 at 11:32 AM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — A military judge in South Texas has dismissed a sexual misconduct case against an Air Force trainer because evidence wrongly was taken from his stolen cellphone.

Prosecutors at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland have until Friday to appeal in the case of Tech. Sgt. Samuel Wicks.

Col. Donald Eller Jr. on Wednesday ruled investigators did not have a warrant when they lifted texts and other information from the airman's cellphone. The phone was taken by an ex-girlfriend of the basic-training supervisor.

Wicks was the ninth Lackland instructor tried on sexual misconduct charges and the first to have his case thrown out. The other eight court-martials ended with ex-instructors sentenced to penalties ranging from prison time to no confinement but hard labor.

More than 30 instructors at Lackland have come under investigation.

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