Airman facing discharge in assault
October 12, 2003
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — An airman accused of climbing into bed with a sleeping female airman and sexually assaulting her is facing a bad conduct discharge from the Air Force.
Last week, a jury found Senior Airman Heath M. McCaskill, 29, of 544 Red Horse Squadron, guilty of indecent assault on a female airman. He was also convicted for unlawfully entering her dormitory room and exposing himself to her.
McCaskill was reduced in rank to Airman Basic, and sentenced to three months’ confinement. He’s locked up at the Camp Humphreys Confinement Facility in Pyongtaek.
There were no injuries in the 10-minute incident, which began sometime in the early hours of July 27, a Sunday, officials said.
The trial began last Tuesday in Bldg. 938 before Lt. Col. Dawn Eflein and a jury of officers and enlisted airmen in the 51st Fighter Wing courtroom.
Air Force officials said McCas- kill, whose been in the Air Force four years and eight months, opened the unlocked door to the victim’s room while she was asleep.
“The victim was awakened by a hand, she turned, and saw the accused in her bed next to her,” said Air Force Lt. Col. Gerald Bruce, 51st Fighter Wing Staff Judge Advocate. “He was naked, and physically aroused. … The victim elbowed the accused and told him to get out. He continued to hold onto her, she continued to elbow him, and eventually pushed him off the bed.
“The accused then got up, put his clothes back on and left the dorm room. She closed the door and locked it.”
The victim reported the attack to a friend “and eventually to Security Forces,” Bruce said.
The precise nature of the relationship between the two was a point of contention during the trial.
“It was described that they were friends prior to this,” Bruce said. “The victim strongly asserted no, and the accused attempted to contend that there was a prior romantic relationship.”
McCaskill admitted to being in the victim’s room “but denied any kind of sexual conduct,” Bruce said.
During the trial, McCaskill maintained he and the victim “were friends and he just wanted to chat with her,” Bruce said.
“He elected to have his case tried before officer and enlisted members,” Bruce said. “After a three-day trial, the members found the accused guilty of all the offenses.”