A lieutenant colonel is being court-martialed on charges of sexually assaulting a civilian woman with whom he was in a relationship, and repeatedly hitting her in 2014 and 2015 while he was a squadron commander.
Portions of Lt. Col. Keithen Washington’s court-martial began at Joint Base Andrews in Washington on Oct. 15. Although his court-martial was originally scheduled to end five days later, the judge delayed the hearings to address a scheduling issue, said Lt. Col. Darrick Lee, the spokesman for Air Force District Washington at Andrews. A new date has not yet been set for the court-martial to resume.
Washington was commander of the 86th Force Support Squadron at Ramstein Air Base in Germany from July 2012 to August 2014, during which some of the alleged abuse took place.
Col. Jason Costello is accused of sexual assault and assault. He will face a court-martial in October.
Washington faces one specification of a sexual assault charge, which allegedly occurred in or near Philadelphia in late June or early July 2015, according to his charge sheet, which was provided by the Air Force. Washington allegedly digitally penetrated the woman without her consent, and “with an intent to abuse, humiliate or degrade” her by causing bodily harm.
He also is charged with five specifications of aggravated assault inflicting grievous bodily harm, in violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to the charge sheet. While in Germany, Washington allegedly struck the woman in the leg with his foot in March or April 2014, and allegedly struck her in the head with a cell phone in June 2014.
And in February 2015, in or near San Antonio, Washington allegedly struck her in the leg with his foot on multiple occasions, allegedly struck her in the face with his hand on multiple occasions, and allegedly struck her in the hand and stomach with his fist.
Lee confirmed that it was the same victim in all the alleged incidents of abuse, and that she had a relationship with Washington.
Washington is now serving as the deputy chief of assignment policy for the joint officer management branch at Air Force headquarters in the Pentagon, according to the Air Force Personnel Center. He began serving in that assignment in May, three months after charges were preferred against him.