Support our mission
 

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. (Tribune News Service) — Rape and child sex charges have been filed in Alabama against an active-duty member of an Air Force maintenance squadron at Hurlburt Field.

In addition to the rape charge, 25-year-old Senior Airman Keith Williams of the 901st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron was charged Tuesday by police in Decatur, Alabama, with electronic solicitation of a child and traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act.

Irene Cardenas Martinez, public information liaison for the Decatur Police Department, confirmed the charges Wednesday. Decatur is located in northern Alabama, southwest of Huntsville.

The Decatur Daily newspaper reported Tuesday that Williams was in the Morgan County (Alabama) Jail under a $60,000 bond. But in response to a Daily News inquiry on Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the 1st Special Operations Wing, the host unit at Hurlburt Field, said Williams was "under military control in the state of Alabama." The spokeswoman added that Williams "is within the confines of an Air Force base and is not allowed to leave the state of Alabama."

A Wednesday call to the Morgan County Jail was answered by someone who said Williams "is not with us," and referred further questions back to the Police Department.

Repeated calls to various departments within the Decatur Police Department, including the chief's office, were not immediately returned Wednesday. But Martinez did say at midafternoon Wednesday that messages left by the Daily News were referred to her, and she was working on a news release on the arrest.

Martinez, who was in training Wednesday, indicated that a release would be posted on the department's social media channels sometime Wednesday or Thursday.

An email response from Hurlburt Field's 1st SOW public affairs office to Daily News questions about the charges filed against Williams also provided no specific information on the circumstances of his arrest. The 1st SOW includes the 901st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

"We are aware of the report made against Senior Airman Keith Williams, and the Air Force is cooperating fully with the local authorities in conducting the investigation," the 1st SOW email stated. But the email noted that "(i)n order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, we cannot discuss the details."

"We have full confidence in our community partners to conduct a thorough and fair investigation into this incident and are cooperating fully with any requests they have," the email continued before referring further questions to the Decatur Police Department.

"Williams is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty," the 1st SOW also said in the email.

Asked whether Williams eventually will face any military sanctions in connection with whatever civilian penalties might be forthcoming, the 1st SOW public affairs office said that the wing will "not speculate on the possible outcomes of any investigations or trials."

"However," the email continued, "the Air Force has a strict zero-tolerance policy on this type of behavior. We are confident in the Decatur Police Department's ability to conduct not only a thorough and fair investigation, but that proper justice for all will be met."

(c)2021 the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.)

Visit the Northwest Florida Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, Fla.) at www.nwfdailynews.com.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Justice
U.S.
Air Force

stars and stripes videos


around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up