Today's Article 32 hearing for a former Air Force Military Training Instructor charged with rape is evidence of the success of a major outreach program commences by the Air Education and Training Command in light of the 2011 sex with recruits scandal at Lackland Air Force base which say more than a dozen MTIs convicted on sex related charges, and some sentenced to lengthy prison terms, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Senior Master Sergeant Michael Silva is charged with rape, charges made by a woman who was a trainee at Lackland nearly twenty years ago.
"One of the charges is based on the testimony of a former trainee, who says she was raped back in 1995," said Brent Boller, a spokesman for Joint Base San Antonio.
As part of it's response to the high profile MTI scandal, the AETC set up a hot line and solicited comments from trainees over the past twenty years on their treatment at Lackland. The Air Force reached out to all of the former trainees they could find through e-mail and other methods to try to determine if any of them were victims of sex crimes at the hands of their MTI.
"Letters have gone out to advise anybody who had been through basic training within the last ten years of come forward if they suspected any unprofessional behavior," Boller said.
An Article 32 hearing is the Uniform Code of Military Justice equivalent of a grand jury, only it is public. A military judge will determine if the charges should go to trial. Silva faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted, and there is no statute of limitations for rape in the UCMJ.