Chief Master Sergeant Faces Court-Martial on Sexual-Misconduct Charges
A former 12th Air Force command chief master sergeant is headed to court-martial on 17 Uniform Code of Military Justice charges, including two sexual misconduct charges, an official said.
A spokeswoman at Air Combat Command told Military.com on Monday that a recommendation has been made following an Article 32 hearing for Chief Master Sgt. Jose A. Barraza "to proceed to court-martial on all charges."
"Arraignment will take place at Davis-Monthan [Air Force Base in Arizona]" on Aug. 29, and "the trial is set for October 14," ACC spokeswoman Erica Vega said in an email.
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Barraza originally faced 15 violations under the UCMJ, but the service in May added two sexual misconduct specifications under Article 120c after an Air Force Office of Special Investigations inquiry into the former member of the 12th Air Force commander's advisory team, officials told Military.com at the time.
UCMJ Article 120c charges stipulate offenses such as indecent viewing, recording or broadcast, forcible pandering, or indecent exposure. The rule was added in 2012 to address miscellaneous sexual misconduct.
The original charges include one specification for willfully disobeying an order, seven specifications for dereliction of duty, two specifications for making false official statements, and five specifications for obstruction of justice in violation of UCMJ Articles 90, 92, 107 and 134 respectively, according to a statement from the command.
Col. Scott C. Campbell, commander of the 355th Fighter Wing, preferred the charges March 30 and May 18. Barraza was removed from his position in November due to "loss of confidence in his ability to carry out his duties," the Air Force said at the time.
Barraza is assigned to the 355th Operations Group at Davis-Monthan and carrying out duties during the ongoing legal process, the ACC has said.
He joined the Air Force in 1989, according to Stars and Stripes.
Barraza began his 12th Air Force post in 2015; he was responsible for all enlisted personnel in the wing. The 12th Air Force, or Air Forces Southern, has a dual mission as an Air Combat Command component numbered Air Force and as the air component for U.S. Southern Command.
ACC officials in recent months have said the service has been particularly mum on the charges in Barraza's case, given the OSI investigation.
"When OSI embarks on an investigation, it is inherently a criminal investigation," a military lawyer told Military.com in September.
"It's driven by the nature of the allegation from the get-go," the lawyer said, speaking generally to military investigations.
A determination was made that Air Combat Command would be the lead communicator on the case instead of Davis-Monthan, an official said.
A timeline for Barraza's alleged crimes has not been disclosed.
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