A former trainer on Lackland Air Force Base in Texas has been accused of sexually assaulting females on base. There are a total of 10 females that are former trainees alleging the sergeant sexually assaulted them.

Jail time may not be the most detrimental consequence facing the sergeant if he is convicted of sex crimes. The stigma following the conviction of a sex crime can last a life time. In Texas, an individual convicted of a sex crime must register as a sex offender for the rest of their life, further fueling the stigma that comes in the wake of a sex crime conviction.

It is worth emphasizing that these consequences affect the convicted. Being accused of a sex crime is not the same thing as being convicted of a sex crime.

This fact is emphasized by the refusal of the Air Force to release the public hearing’s investigative report to protect the “personal privacy” of the accused. In a letter one Vice Commander is quoted in the following words, “…(the accused) has not been convicted of any crime; disclosure of Article 32 Report could substantially prejudice his privacy and due process rights.”

It is important to remain mindful of the fact that regardless of what prosecutors are accusing an individual of, all individuals are entitled to a fair trial. The sergeant is set to for arraignment this month under charges of rape, 6 specifications of aggregated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, adultery and obstruction, and 18 specifications of violating the lawful order and lawful general regulation regarding unprofessional relationships with trainees.

Source: Air Force Times, “Ex-Lackland instructor faces sex charges trail,” Kristin Davis, Mar. 4, 2012