Sergeant Walker's court-martial begins|
Posted 7/16/2012 Updated 7/17/2012
Air Education and Training Command Public Affairs
7/16/2012 - JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The general court-martial for Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, 737th Training Group, Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, begins today (July 16, 2012).
Sergeant Walker, a basic military training instructor (MTI) at JBSA-Lackland, faces 28 charges, including rape, adultery, obstruction, aggravated sexual contact, multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault and violating a lawful order regarding unprofessional relationships with trainees.
The charges stem from alleged incidents that took place between October 2010 and June 2011.
When the initial allegation was made, his commander immediately relieved him of duty and began an investigation. Walker is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
"The Air Force will not tolerate criminal behavior and unprofessional relationships between instructors and trainees or students, which are specifically prohibited by Air Force Air Education and Training Command instructions," said Air Education and Training Command Commander, Gen. Edward A. Rice Jr., in a recent address. "The vast majority of MTIs are great Americans who live up to the high standards we demand of those who are entrusted with the critically important and sensitive mission of turning ordinary citizens into Airmen."
A comprehensive internal and external investigation was launched at Air Force basic military and technical training centers.
Air Education and Training Command will ensure any systematic issues involving maltreatment and sexual misconduct are identified and addressed, said Rice.
Since the command-directed investigation was launched, several members of the military training instructor corps have come forward with allegations of inappropriate behavior by other instructors at JBSA-Lackland.
"The fact that MTIs stepped forward to identify those suspected of misconduct cannot be overlooked," said Col. Polly Kenny, 2nd Air Force Staff Judge Advocate. "It demonstrates that these NCOs care about the integrity of the MTI Corps, and are not willing to tolerate behavior that will tarnish a hallowed Air Force institution."
The Air Force is currently adjusting measures designed to dissuade, deter, detect and prevent this type of behavior in the future and will continue to offer support and services to victims.