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Sexual assault scandal continues to shock Texas Air Force base

Another former instructor from Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas was sentenced this week as a part of the ongoing investigation and trials for alleged sexual assaults of new recruits. The revelation that many recruits were being victimized by instructors has sent shockwaves through the community at Lackland and the military community as a whole.

All new recruits for the Air Force pass through the training program at this base, so there is a strong possibility that there are even more currently unknown victims.

The sexual harassment and assault on the base is thought to be widespread and systemic. Investigators involved with the case say that at least 38 trainees were victimized and that a total of 15 instructors are implicated in the assaults. One instructor was given a 20 year sentence last month after he was convicted of rape and sexual assault. Three more trainers are set to appear before a court martial in the coming months to face accusations of various wrongful sexual relationships.

In addition to the criminal charges being brought against the alleged perpetrators of these attacks, the victims may also pursue compensation against the Air Force and senior leadership on the base for failing to prevent or stop these crimes from being committed. Many have said that the culture of the base contributed significantly to the prevalence of sexual assault. If that is found to be true, the Air Force may be liable for damages to the employees who were assaulted and injured through the Air Force's negligence.

While these crimes are certainly shocking for members of the Air Force, the case also highlights the influence of workplace culture on incidents of sexual harassment and assault.

For more information on sexual harassment in Texas workplaces, visit our law firm's website.

Source: Associated Press, "Texas Air Force instructor gets 30-day sentence," August 3, 2012.

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