LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas – The legal process took another step forward Thursday at Lackland Air Force Base in the Article 32 hearing for a training instructor accused of having sex with female trainees.
The prosecution called several witnesses in the case against Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc.
The Article 32 hearing determines whether the case will be referred to court-martial.
LeBlanc faces several charges including aggravated sexual assault, adultery, AWOL, obstruction of justice and violating a no-contact order.
Prosecuting attorneys called two witnesses who were training instructors in the 331st Training Squadron with LeBlanc.
Staff Sgt. Christopher Beck testified that LeBlanc admitted to him on two occasions that he had sex with trainees.
The defense questioned why Beck waited weeks to report the alleged incidents. Beck then described the fear and hesitation he felt about reporting alleged wrong-doings of a fellow instructor.
"We feel like we are a family," said Col. Polly Kenny, staff judge advocate of the 2nd Air Force. "To have to come forward against one of your own is always very difficult to do. It takes a moral courage."
There are currently 12 similar incidents under investigation at Lackland. Six instructors have been charged and one of those 6 has been court-martialed and sentenced.