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Luis Walker, Lackland boot camp instructor, convicted of rape and sex assault

Luis A. Walker, the Air Force boot camp instructor embroiled in a sex scandal that has rocked one of the nation's busiest military training centres, has been convicted of rape and sexual assault.

lackland air force base 7 21 2012Enlarge
US President George W. Bush poses with Lackland Air Force Base personnel at the Alamo Regional Command Reception Center September 1, 2008 in San Antonio, Texas. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Luis A. Walker, the Air Force boot camp instructor embroiled in a sex scandal that has rocked one of the nation's busiest military training centers, has been convicted of rape and sexual assault.

A seven-person jury of military personnel at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on Friday found the Staff Sergeant guilty on all seven counts he faced, along with 28 specifications of misconduct, My San Antonio reported.

Charges against the boot camp instructor included rape, aggravated sexual contact and multiple counts of aggravated sexual assault.

According to the Associated Press, Walker faces up to life in prison and a dishonorable discharge. The sentencing phase of the trial begins Saturday.

Walker was one of 12 Lackland instructors investigated for sexual misconduct toward at least 31 female trainees, the AP wrote, adding that six of them had been charged on counts ranging from rape to adultery.

All members of the Air Force — about one in five of them female — receive eight weeks basic training at Lackland, which employs about 475 instructors, 90 percent of them men, the AP wrote.

Walker, the first of the accused instructors to go on trial, had faced the most serious charges. 

More from GlobalPost: US Air Force identifies 31 victims in sex scandal

According to My San Antonio, a group of Walker's victims watching the verdict from In a basement room at Lackland, broke into tears at the verdict.

"After hearing the pronouncements of several guilty verdicts, one woman collapsed, and others embraced her and each other on the floor," the news outlet reported. "After the last specification was read, they consoled one another, sobbing, with some hugging."

Several of them had given evidence against Walker, including one woman who told the court that Walker lured her into an office and sexually assaulted her on a bed.

Others said Walker forced them into kissing, touching and intercourse after luring them into his office or empty dorm rooms, threatening that failure to succumb could see them kicked out of the the Air Force.

Walker reportedly showed no emotion upon hearing the verdict. He will remain free pending sentencing.

More from GlobalPost: Life Sentence: Women & Justice in Afghanistan
 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/120721/luis-walker-rape-sex-assault-lackland-texas-sexual-air-force-military-boot