A lieutenant colonel who had an affair with an 18-year-old security forces airman will be dismissed from the Air Force, Stars and Stripes reported on Sunday.
Lt. Col. Denis Paquette faced a general court-martial at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. He pleaded guilty to fraternization, violating a lawful general order on one occasion by drinking more than two alcoholic drinks at a deployed location in less than 24 hours, and impeding an investigation, Stripes reported.
Stripes reported that the judge in the court-martial found Paquette also was negligent in performing his assigned duties but not guilty of dereliction of duty, and that he did not violate the general order against multiple alcoholic drinks on numerous occasions.
Paquette was found not guilty of abusive sexual contact, Stripes reported. According to a charge sheet obtained by Air Force Times in July, Paquette was accused of touching the inner thigh of an unnamed, intoxicated airman first class.
The 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein was unable to immediately confirm the results of Paquette’s court-martial.
Paquette was commander of the 722nd Expeditionary Air Base Squadron at Sidi Ahmed Air Base in Tunisia in the summer of 2016, when the incidents were alleged to have happened. Stripes reported that prosecutors in the case said ”Paquette ran the base like a ’summer camp’ and a ’frat house.’”
Stripes said that Paquette has more than 18 years in the Air Force, but his dismissal means he will not be eligible for retirement benefits.
Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He previously covered leadership and personnel issues at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, special operations and air warfare at Military.com. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover U.S. Air Force operations.