On top of the spate of F-22 Raptor accidents and hypoxia incidents, the Air Force is also contending with a high profile sex predator trial. The Honolulu Star Advertiser reports “Air Force Sergeant in base sex-assault scandal is a predator, prosecutor says” (July 17, 2012):
A sergeant charged with sexually assaulting female recruits at the Texas Air Force base where U.S. airmen go through basic training is a “consummate predator,” a military prosecutor told jurors today at the outset of the officer’s court-martial.
Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, who faces the most serious charges in a burgeoning sex scandal involving Lackland Air Force Base instructors, raped one female recruit and sexually assaulted or inappropriately had sex with nine others whom he was training, the prosecutor, Major Patricia Gruen, said in her opening statement today.
“He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Gruen told the seven-person jury comprised of military personnel.
But characterizing individual perpetrators as the exceptional deviant deflects attention from the aspects of military culture and institutional practices that foster predatory sexual attitudes and behaviors.