Air Force Instructor Gets 30 Days in Sex Scandal

Victim advocates slam light sentence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2012 12:23 AM CDT
Updated Aug 3, 2012 12:54 AM CDT
Air Force Instructor Gets 30 Days in Sex Scandal
"I know I can tough out any punishment you give me, but a bad-conduct discharge mark I will never overcome," Smith told jurors.    (USAF)

Another instructor has been sentenced in the Lackland Air Force Base sex scandal, but Tech Sgt. Christopher Smith got off relatively lightly. Smith has been sentenced to 30 days of confinement, and a reduction in rank for trying to woo one female trainee and fraternizing with another, reports the San Antonio Express-News. Prosecutors had sought a four-month term and a bad-conduct discharge, but jurors granted Smith's plea to be allowed to stay in the service.

The president of the Protect Our Defenders victims advocacy group called the light sentence a "travesty of justice," and a senior Air Force attorney warned that Smith could still be kicked out of the service. "The command has wide discretion in determining whether Sgt. Smith will be allowed to remain in the service,” she said. The harassment probe at the Texas base now involves 15 instructors. Staff Sgt. Luis Walker was sentenced to 20 years last month after he was found guilty of raping one recruit and sexually assaulting several others. (More US military stories.)

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