The Air Force Academy on Monday held an Article 32 hearing for a major accused of raping an adult woman and sexually assaulting a young girl.
Maj. Travis J. Burns has been charged with one specification of violating Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for allegedly raping the woman, and four specifications of violating Article 120b of the UCMJ for allegedly assaulting the girl.
Burns works for the commandant of cadets at the academy. Meade Warthen, a spokesman for the academy, said Burns is now performing administrative duties there.
According to a charge sheet released by the academy, Burns is accused of raping a woman at or near Clovis, New Mexico, on or about Dec. 21, 2013.
He is also accused of sexually assaulting and repeatedly molesting a girl who was under the age of 12 in 2017 and 2018, the charge sheet said.
The academy said in a Thursday release that the Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, is meant to decide whether probable cause exists to support the charge and its specifications.
The preliminary hearing officer will submit a report and recommendations to the academy’s commandant of cadets, who serves as the special court-martial convening authority. The commandant will decide whether to dismiss the case, recommend to the academy’s superintendent that the case be referred to a general court-martial, or to resolve the case through other disciplinary or administrative action.
“It must be emphasized that charges are merely accusations, and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty,” the release said.