RAF ALCONBURY, England — The first time she left the Navy petty officer’s dorm room, the airman said, she felt “creeped out.”

The second time, she bolted for her safety and met with Air Force investigators to file sexual assault charges.

Tuesday, seven months after Petty Officer 3rd Class Christopher A. Byard allegedly posed as a Navy investigator, kidnapped and assaulted her, the victim took the witness stand. It is Stars and Stripes policy not to identify victims of sexual assault.

Byard is charged with kidnapping, indecent assault and impersonating a Navy investigator. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, without parole.

The victim, an airman first class, acknowledged a false sense of security when dealing with fellow military members in the tightly knit RAF Alconbury community.

“I thought I could trust people,” she said. “Everyone has clearances and has had background checks.”

Both the victim and the suspect serve at nearby RAF Molesworth: she at the Joint Analysis Center, the military’s European intelligence headquarters; and he at the Navy Information Operations Detachment.

The victim said she met Byard at the RAF Alconbury base club on Nov. 6, when the two shared a few dances before retiring to his dorm room to watch a movie.

“I left after he tried to get intimate,” she testified. “I was a little creeped out.”

Twelve days later at the same club, Byard again tried to woo the airman back to his room. She refused. But as the night drew to a close, Byard confronted the victim with a jarring claim.

He said he was an undercover agent with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and was working on a probe surrounding an affair she had with a married member of the Marine Corps.

The victim testified she had an affair with a married Marine earlier in the year and that she had learned in technical school that military investigators often work undercover. Fearing she might lose her security clearance and ultimately her job, she cooperated with Byard and followed him to his room.

“I wanted to discuss what had happened and try and sort it out,” she testified.

Upon entering the room, Byrad’s actions became muddled.

“He asked me what I was willing to do to make this all go away. He said he could make them drop all the charges,” she testified. “I thought he probably wanted me to sleep with him or something [else] sexual.”

The victim attempted to leave, but Byard held her against her will for four hours and sexually assaulted her.

“I was still crying and he stuck his hands up my shirt. I told him to stop and he stuck his hands down my pants,” she testified. “I curled up in a ball to stop him.”

The prosecution entered into evidence pictures taken shortly after the encounter that show scratches and bruising allegedly suffered by the victim when she tried to escape from Byard’s dorm room. Several pieces of hair intentionally left by the victim in the room also were introduced as evidence.

The court-martial is schedule to continue Wednesday and could run through Friday.

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