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Testimony: Lackland Instructor Forced Airmen To Fill Canteens With Water From Toilets

U.S. Air Force

An Air force training instructor heads back into a military courtroom this morning for a second day of testimony in his Article 32 hearing.

It's the latest in the growing number of cases against military training instructors caught up in the sex scandal at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.

Four female airmen testified on Monday that Staff Sgt. Ryan Deraas found them on Facebook and pursued sexual relationships with them, "sexting" and sending photos of himself via his mobile phone. Later in the day, two male trainees told the court that they were told to wake up 15 minutes after they went to sleep on their first night in basic training, and that Deraas forced some of them to fill their canteens with water from the toilets.

Like the dozen or so other instructors taken to court so far, Deraas is charged with pursuing unprofessional relationships with female trainees. But Deraas is the first to be charged with maltreatment of his trainees. On Tuesday the investigating officer is expected to review charges of assault and battery.

Twenty-five instructors are expected to be tried in the broad sex scandal involving 49 trainees at Lackland.

Eileen Pace is a veteran radio and print journalist with a long history of investigative and feature reporting in San Antonio and Houston, earning more than 50 awards for investigative reporting, documentaries, long-form series, features, sports stories, outstanding anchoring and best use of sound.