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Air Force Lt.: Fraternization OK’d

December 3, 1998

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (AP) _ A female Air Force lieutenant accused of fraternizing with enlisted personnel was denied an opportunity to explore the base’s widespread acceptance of such relationships, her lawyer and a watchdog group said Wednesday.

The officer overseeing 1st Lt. Eva Gutierrez Logsdon’s hearing slanted the trial in favor of the prosecution by refusing to allow testimony into others relationships, her lawyer said at the close of the three-day hearing.

``It’s obvious that at that base officer-enlisted fraternization was not just tolerated, but even condoned,″ said Tod Ensign, director of Citizen Soldier, a military advocacy group aiding her defense.

Logsdon, a communications officer at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, acknowledged she had a romantic and sexual relationship with Senior Airman Michael Hennessey.

She faces nine charges, including fraternization, lying under oath, being drunk and disorderly and groping male officers. The hearing is to determine whether she faces a court-martial.

If she is court-martialed and found guilty of all charges, Logsdon could face 25 years in a military prison.

Defense attorney Louis Font and Ensign contended the attitude toward relationships between officers and enlisted personnel is central to Logsdon’s case.

Base spokeswoman Capt. Brenda Campbell said hearing officer Lt. Col. Robert Coacher must follow strict guidelines during the hearing and allow only evidence that pertains directly to the charges. ``(The hearing) wasn’t to look at other issues,″ she said.

Logsdon said the charges surfaced only after she filed a complaint against an officer _ one of the men she is accused of groping. Air Force authorities have not specified what the complaint was except to say it was not substantiated.

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