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Opening arguments to begin Wednesday in recruiter court-martial

Jun. 11, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Rodriguez ()
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Opening arguments are expected to begin Wednesday morning in the court-martial of an Air Force recruiter accused of rape.

Tech. Sgt. Jaime Rodriguez pleaded guilty Friday to five of the eight charges he faced, including consensual sodomy, adultery, giving a false official statement and having unprofessional relationships with 13 women, most of them Air Force applicants.

The former recruiter pleaded not guilty to the most serious charges, including rape, sex assault, forcible sodomy and assault consummated by a battery. A military jury, or panel, made up of all-male officers will begin hearing the case Wednesday morning at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, said Brent Boller, spokesman.

The trial began Thursday following a three-day delay. Procedural hearings dominated much of the first two days, followed by the selection of the jury: three colonels, two lieutenant colonels, one major and two captains, Boller said.

Rodriguez worked at a Lake Jackson, Texas, recruiting office south of Houston from August 2008 to November 2011. He came under investigation when the mother of a teenage Air Force applicant discovered illicit messages and photos from the recruiter on her daughter’s cell phone and alerted the Air Force. He was immediately removed from the position.

Rodriguez faces up to life in prison if convicted of rape. He could receive up to 54 years and six months in prison on the charges to which he pleaded guilty.

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