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2nd trainer faces court-martial over U.S. Air Force sex scandal

(Xinhua)

11:26, August 01, 2012

HOUSTON, July 31 (Xinhua) -- Another instructor at a U.S. Air Force training center was facing various charges at a court- martial Tuesday over a widening sex scandal that involved more than a dozen U.S. Air Force trainers.

Tech Sgt. Christopher Smith faces up to a year in prison and a dishonorable discharge at his trial, which started Tuesday morning at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, according to local media reports.

Smith was charged with making sexual advances toward a trainee, seeking to develop an intimate relationship with her and wrongfully having a social relationship with another trainee. Smith is among 15 instructors investigated in a widening sex scandal that rocked Lackland Air Force base, one of the country's busiest military training centers.

Earlier this month, a military jury at Lackland found Sgt. Luis Walker guilty of charges that included rape, aggravated sexual contact and multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault. Walker was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

Military officials say the initial flirtations Walker directed at the women he trained at the base grew into something more sinister: threats and intimidation that eventually led to rape. Walker is the first to stand trial in the sex scandal.

Six of the 15 instructors being investigated have been charged. Another trainer, Vega-Maldonado, who admitted in June to having sex with a female trainee, was given 90 days of confinement as part of a plea deal.

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