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Deraas Pleads Guilty, Gets Bad Conduct Discharge

Deraas_USAF file photo.JPG
U.S. Air Force

A former military training instructor at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland has been sentenced following his court-martial that began Monday morning.

Staff Sgt. Ryan Derass pleaded guilty to charges of pursuing sexual relationships with five female trainees in another training class and to charges of dereliction of duty for forcing the recruits in his training class to fill their canteens with water from the toilet.

The case marks the first time an instructor was charged in connection with both male and female trainees.

Deraas also pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery against two of his trainees. The two men testified that Deraas refused latrine breaks for the men, and when two of the trainees went to the latrine against orders, Deraas yanked them away from the urinals.

One of the former trainees testified that he had waited so long to go to the bathroom that he had blood in his urine.

The military judge sentenced Deraas to three months confinement, reduction in rank from Staff Sgt. to Airman 1st Class, and a bad conduct discharge.

Deraas is the tenth MTI to be court-martialed in the ongoing Air Force investigation that now numbers 32 instructors suspected of improper relationships with 62 alleged victims.

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.