Tech. Sgt. Gayden is on trial this week on allegations that he raped a recruit at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. (File)
Jury selection was set to begin this morning in the trial of a former military training instructor accused of rape and forcible sodomy of a recruit at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.
Motion hearings dominated much of the first day of the court-martial of Tech. Sgt. Marc L. Gayden, which began at the base yesterday, said Brent Boller, an Air Force spokesman. The defense has argued an email Gayden sent to the alleged victim denying any wrongdoing should be allowed into evidence.
The woman, known in charging documents as Airman 1, sent Gayden the email at the behest of Air Force investigators who were looking into alleged misconduct by basic trainees, Boller said. Airman 1 wrote that she had read a newspaper article about the investigations and it had reminded her of what Gayden allegedly did to her in his basic training office between late 2010 and early 2011.
Gayden denied the misconduct in an email response; the defense wants jurors to see that.
The judge was expected to rule on the motion this morning. Jury selection was set to follow. A panel of officers and non-commissioned officers will hear the case.
Gayden is the 26th MTI sent to court-martial since a series of allegations against basic trainers led to a sweeping investigation into MTI misconduct. Twenty-four have been convicted; one case was dismissed before it began when a judge ruled evidence was seized unlawfully.
Gayden is the third MTI accused of rape, a charge that carries up to life in prison.