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Acquitted Air Force Instructor Gets Bad Conduct Discharge

Headquarters to the 37th Training Wing
Ryan Loyd
Texas Public Radio
The headquarters to the 37th Training Wing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland. The courts-martial are being held inside this building, where the base's legal offices and courtroom are housed.

On Wednesday, Staff Sgt. Donald Davis was found not guilty of abusive sexual contact with a trainee, but after submitting its acquittal, the military jury learned that Davis pled guilty to having an unprofessional sexual relationship with a technical traineeprior to the start of the court-martial.

On Thursday the jury deliberated for about two hours before returning with a three-pronged sentence: A reduction in rank to E-3, three months’ hard labor and a bad conduct discharge. He could have received a prison sentence instead of the discharge.

The acquittal was thanks to a successful reasonable doubt argument, since there was no physical evidence to indicate that an offense had even occurred (see related story at bottom of page).

However, it is a violation of Air Force regulations for instructors to develop personal relationships with any trainees. The second trainee testified in November at an Article 32 investigative hearing that she went with Davis to a motel near Lackland to have sex, but said she did not feel like a victim and did not want to get her friend in trouble.

The case marks the seventh court-martial in the ongoing Air Force investigation. Staff Sgt. Craig LeBlanc is scheduled for court-martial Feb. 11.

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.