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A hearing is set to begin today to determine whether the most recent military training instructor charged in a widening sex scandal at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland should stand trial.
Staff Sgt. Eddy Soto is accused of raping and sexually assaulting a former trainee, sexually assaulting a second former trainee, and trying to have a personal, intimate or sexual relationship with a third trainee, according to a news release from the base. All of the alleged victims are female. Soto is also charged with adultery and making a false official statement.
Soto is the eighth MTI charged with sexual misconduct in less than a year and a half. Five of those MTIs have been convicted at court-martial, including ex-Staff Sgt. Luis Walker, who is serving a 20-year sentence for raping, sexually assaulting and having inappropriate relationships with 10 trainees. A sixth MTI will stand trial later this month; charges against a seventh were withdrawn, although Air Force officials say they are expected to be refiled.
At Soto's Article 32 hearing — the military's equivalent of a preliminary hearing — the convening authority will decide whether there is enough evidence to send the case to court-martial.