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22nd MTI convicted, 23rd heads to court-martial

Jun. 27, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
Senior Airman Christopher Oliver was convicted June 26 to two years in prison, reduction to airman basic and a dishonorable discharge. He was the 22nd ex-MTI convicted in less than two years in a basic training scandal that rocked the military.
Senior Airman Christopher Oliver was convicted June 26 to two years in prison, reduction to airman basic and a dishonorable discharge. He was the 22nd ex-MTI convicted in less than two years in a basic training scandal that rocked the military. (John Davenport / San Antonio Express-News)
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The latest military training instructor to stand trial on allegations of sexual misconduct was acquitted of the most serious charges against him but convicted of having sex with three basic trainees and an inappropriate relationship with a fourth.

A military judge June 26 sentenced former Senior Airman Christopher Oliver to two years in prison, reduction to airman basic and a dishonorable discharge.

Oliver was the 22nd ex-MTI convicted in less than two years in a basic training scandal that rocked the military.

Oliver pleaded guilty to some of the charges against him at the start of the three-day court-martial at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, including having unprofessional relationships with two trainees, dereliction of duty and adultery.

Col. Donald Eller, the military judge, found him not guilty of aggravated sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, forcible sodomy and obstruction of justice but convicted him of the lesser offenses of wrongful sexual contact and consensual sodomy.

Oliver was also found guilty of having sexual relationships with three basic trainees and continuing those relationships while the women were technical training students. In an incident involving a fourth trainee, Oliver asked a recruit to show him her tattoos and to take off some of her clothing.

The offenses occurred between March and September 2011, according to the charge sheet in the case.

Another former MTI, Senior Airman Andrew S. Lira, headed to a special court-martial this morning on charges he had or attempted to have sexual relationships with six trainees and tried to develop personal relationships with two more. He is also accused of adultery and asking two former trainees to lie to investigators and to destroy evidence.

Lira allegedly told one airman to “erase all text messages and this conversation,” “leave things out and you won’t get in trouble,” “just say what I told you,” according to the charge sheet. He is accused of making similar statements to a second airman.

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