An Air Force Academy cadet pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of trying to take inappropriate photos of multiple women without their consent, the academy announced on Thursday.
Cadet 4th Class Sammy Tawakkol will be kicked out of the Colorado Springs-based academy and will likely receive an “under other than honorable conditions” characterization of his service, an academy news release said.
Tawakkol faced a special court-martial Thursday after spending three and a half months in the Teller County Jail, along with “intensive mental-health treatment,” according to the academy.
The cadet was charged with two specifications of violating Article 80 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the academy said.
These specifications alleged that Tawakkol attempted to “knowingly and wrongfully photograph the private areas of various females without their consent, and under circumstances in which the females had a reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Tawakkol was also charged with one violation of Article 90 of the UCMJ after allegedly failing to obey the order of a superior commissioned officer to not go into a women’s bathroom.
Under Defense Department and Air Force guidance, Tawakkol’s action will trigger a sex-offender registry notification requirement, the release said. However, whether he will be required to register as a sex offender will be determined by the state in which he lives and/or works.
Tawakkol won’t face additional jail time as part of a pre-trial agreement and after consultation with the victims. In exchange, the cadet waived his rights to a future hearing to contest his service characterization, the academy said.
The military judge sentenced Tawakkol to a reprimand, restriction for two months and forfeiture of two-thirds pay for six months. However, he will return to Texas without pay, pending the academy superintendent’s final decision on how the sentence should be carried out.
“I want to thank those brave victims of this disgusting act who came forward to ensure this didn’t happen to anyone else and also to encourage those who see something to say something — there’s no place for this kind of behavior at the Academy or in the Air Force,” Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria, the academy superintendent, said in the release.