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Master sgt. faces hearing on multiple rape charges

Feb. 24, 2014 - 06:13PM   |  
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A master sergeant accused of raping three people between 1992 and 2007, including a former Air Force recruit, faced a brief evidentiary hearing Monday.

No witnesses testified. Instead, attorneys on both sides asked the investigating officer to consider written statements — from the three alleged victims and from defense witnesses, said Brent Boller, an Air Force spokesman.

Boller said the three accusers, all of whom are now civilians, were unavailable to testify.

Master Sgt. Michael Silva, who is assigned to the 802nd Force Support Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, was charged late last month with three counts of rape.

One of the accusers said she was a basic trainee and Silva, a military training instructor, in 1995 when the alleged rape occurred, the Air Force said. The allegation in the nearly two-decade old case arose during a comprehensive 2012 investigation of basic military training that included an email blast to 300,000 former basic trainees asking for information about instructor sexual misconduct, Boller said.

The Uniform Code of Military Justice has no statute of limitation on the crime of rape.

Monday’s hearing, held at Lackland, lasted about half an hour, Boller said. The investigating officer will next recommend whether to send the case to court-martial.

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