HomeNewsArticle Display

Officials discuss recent sexual assault cases

MINOT AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- Recently, two Airmen were court-martialed for sexual assault. 

The unfortunate events surrounding these cases serve as lessons for all base members. Lessons such as the importance of trust, the need for forthright communication and the value of support agencies available for victims. 

One Airman was found guilty of rape and was sentenced to seven years confinement, a dishonorable discharge, a reduction to E-1 and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. The other was found guilty of indecent assault among other offenses and was reduced in rank from E-4 to E-1 and sentenced to six months confinement. 

According to Maj. Graham Todd, 5th Bomb Wing, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, these cases have a common thread in that they both involved a violation of trust. 

The Airman who was found guilty of rape committed the crime against an ex-girlfriend, who was a civilian, on her 21st birthday. The Airman was the designated driver for the night and gave the victim a ride home at the end of the night. The victim was significantly intoxicated and passed out in her apartment. The Airman then took advantage of her while she was passed out. 

"So what we had with this case was an Airman who violated trust," said Major Todd. "He was entrusted with being the designated driver for the night, which is a good thing, but in the end he did the wrong thing and took advantage of the person with whom he was entrusted." 

According to Marilyn Nurnberger, 5th Bomb Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, alcohol use by the victim or perpetrator is frequently associated with acquaintance rape. 

The Airman who was found guilty of indecent assault committed the crime against his roommate. The Airman attempted to take off the victim's bath robe as she came out of the shower. After a few moments he stopped and apologized to her, but the crime had already been committed. 

"This case is also about trust in that a male and female are sharing an abode together and they trust each other to do so," said Major Todd. "Then one of them violates that trust and tries to take advantage of it for a brief moment in time. These are important cases because the facts are similar to many facts our Airmen are faced with; party situations and someone is intoxicated, and Airmen sharing domiciles with the opposite sex." 

According to Major Todd, sexual assault cases are unfortunate for military members because they are given all the trust in the world. 

"If people are involved with someone of the opposite sex, both parties need to communicate clearly on where the relationship is and where the relationship is going, physically as well as emotionally," said Major Todd. "Don't try to guess, because if people guess wrong they could hurt somebody, which can create consequences." 

Communication is very important, but men and women who have been consuming alcohol can be less able to communicate about what they want and what they do not want out of a sexual relationship, said Mrs. Nurnberger. 

"The odds 'maybe' or 'no' are interpreted wrong increase when either party has been drinking. Some perpetrators may even push others to drink so the victim will be less likely to resist physical or emotional pressure to resist sexual activity. Regardless of how much a person drinks, no one is ever justified in forcing sex if the other party says 'no' or is under the influence of alcohol." 
USAF Comments Policy
If you wish to comment, use the text box below. AF reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.

This is a moderated forum. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting. In addition, we expect that participants will treat each other, as well as our agency and our employees, with respect. We will not post comments that contain abusive or vulgar language, spam, hate speech, personal attacks, violate EEO policy, are offensive to other or similar content. We will not post comments that are spam, are clearly "off topic", promote services or products, infringe copyright protected material, or contain any links that don't contribute to the discussion. Comments that make unsupported accusations will also not be posted. The AF and the AF alone will make a determination as to which comments will be posted. Any references to commercial entities, products, services, or other non-governmental organizations or individuals that remain on the site are provided solely for the information of individuals using this page. These references are not intended to reflect the opinion of the AF, DoD, the United States, or its officers or employees concerning the significance, priority, or importance to be given the referenced entity, product, service, or organization. Such references are not an official or personal endorsement of any product, person, or service, and may not be quoted or reproduced for the purpose of stating or implying AF endorsement or approval of any product, person, or service.

Any comments that report criminal activity including: suicidal behaviour or sexual assault will be reported to appropriate authorities including OSI. This forum is not:

  • This forum is not to be used to report criminal activity. If you have information for law enforcement, please contact OSI or your local police agency.
  • Do not submit unsolicited proposals, or other business ideas or inquiries to this forum. This site is not to be used for contracting or commercial business.
  • This forum may not be used for the submission of any claim, demand, informal or formal complaint, or any other form of legal and/or administrative notice or process, or for the exhaustion of any legal and/or administrative remedy.

AF does not guarantee or warrant that any information posted by individuals on this forum is correct, and disclaims any liability for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on any such information. AF may not be able to verify, does not warrant or guarantee, and assumes no liability for anything posted on this website by any other person. AF does not endorse, support or otherwise promote any private or commercial entity or the information, products or services contained on those websites that may be reached through links on our website.

Members of the media are asked to send questions to the public affairs through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments. Reporter questions will not be posted. We recognize that the Web is a 24/7 medium, and your comments are welcome at any time. However, given the need to manage federal resources, moderating and posting of comments will occur during regular business hours Monday through Friday. Comments submitted after hours or on weekends will be read and posted as early as possible; in most cases, this means the next business day.

For the benefit of robust discussion, we ask that comments remain "on-topic." This means that comments will be posted only as it relates to the topic that is being discussed within the blog post. The views expressed on the site by non-federal commentators do not necessarily reflect the official views of the AF or the Federal Government.

To protect your own privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include personally identifiable information, such as name, Social Security number, DoD ID number, OSI Case number, phone numbers or email addresses in the body of your comment. If you do voluntarily include personally identifiable information in your comment, such as your name, that comment may or may not be posted on the page. If your comment is posted, your name will not be redacted or removed. In no circumstances will comments be posted that contain Social Security numbers, DoD ID numbers, OSI case numbers, addresses, email address or phone numbers. The default for the posting of comments is "anonymous", but if you opt not to, any information, including your login name, may be displayed on our site.

Thank you for taking the time to read this comment policy. We encourage your participation in our discussion and look forward to an active exchange of ideas.

Contact Us

To reach the Minot Air Force Base Main Directory, call: Commercial (701) 723-7979 or DSN: 453-7979.   

To request Public Affairs support, please fill out an Air Force Form 833 and email to the Minot AFB Public Affairs workflow mailbox

Unfortunately, we are not accepting marquee requests since our marquee board is down for an undetermined amount of time. Thank you for understanding.

FacebookFacebook
InstagramInstagram
TwitterTwitter
FlickrFlickr
YouTubeYouTube