Trainers at Texas air force base dabbled in drugs

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Associated Press

Posted on November 19, 2012 at 8:00 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 19 at 6:32 PM

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Instructors at a Texas Air Force base rocked by a widespread sex scandal have dabbled in drugs, been busted for drunken driving and been accused of assault and abuse of trainees in the past decade, according to records released Sunday to the San Antonio Express-News.

The offenses were disclosed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by the newspaper.

The newspaper reports the offenses show a pattern of misconduct since 2002 at Lackland Air Force Base, which graduates more than 36,000 airmen annually.

The Express-News reports the Air Force documented 81 nonsexual cases in the past decade. Most were handled secretly. Many resulted in reprimands, loss of rank and loss of pay. Some commanders suspended punishment.

Nearly three dozen other cases involved sexual relationships, most consensual. Instructors are barred from having sexual relationships with students.

More than a dozen instructors are being investigated as part of a sex scandal that has rocked Lackland. An investigation found that 23 instructors allegedly engaged in inappropriate or coercive sexual relationships with 48 recruits at the base.

Five people have been convicted in courts martial on charges ranging from adultery to rape. Another person received administrative punishment, and additional instructors still could face criminal charges.

The documents disclosed Sunday showed some offenses over the past 10 years have been serious.

One staff sergeant was sentenced to 21 years in prison in 2003 for sexually assaulting a child and possessing child pornography. Another staff sergeant was sentenced to 18 months in jail for using heroin and other drugs. Another was found guilty of using Ecstasy and lost a stripe. He was also fined $1,000 a month for two months, but had one month suspended.

Some trainers were accused of obstructing justice, lying to superiors, assault and battery, and in one instance, larceny.

Most of the offenses were committed by staff sergeants, an entry level rank.

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