Captain Convicted of ‘Indecent Assault,’ Dismissed From Air Force
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. (AP) _ An Air Force captain who insists he’s not homosexual was convicted Friday of violating orders against allowing enlisted personnel in his room and of making a pass at an airman.
The court-martial ordered Capt. G. Andrew Espinosa of Cannon’s 523rd Fighter Wing dismissed from the Air Force. He was also granted an automatic appeal.
″You’d think the military would be very careful about who they’re drumming out, particularly someone who I feel is not homosexual,″ defense attorney Cary Silberman said afterward.
No witnesses corroborated the airman’s allegation that Espinosa put his hand on his knee and kissed him on the cheek in Espinosa’s room at Incirlik Air Force Base, Turkey, last May.
Espinosa also was found guilty of disobeying an order and of indecent assault. He could have been sentenced to as much as 5 1/2 years in prison.
Espinosa insisted the incident never occurred, but the issue of homosexuality was never raised overtly during the trial, and he never got to state his sexual orientation on the record.
Espinosa told the court he loved the Air Force, loved flying jets and felt he had done a good job throughout his seven-year military career. A weapons systems officer, he had flown 21 combat missions over Iraq and was awarded the Air Medal.
Silberman said several people had come to Espinosa’s room to drink beer and watch the NBA playoffs on television May 19. The accusing airman was among them, although Espinosa claimed not to have invited the man.