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RAF MILDENHALL, England — The court-martial of a 423rd Civil Engineering airman charged with rape, sodomy and aggravated assault began Friday with pretrial hearings and motions in closed chambers.

The trial of Staff Sgt. Joseph Spaulding, who serves at RAF Alconbury, was originally scheduled for October, but was rescheduled due to a death in the family of one of the participants, according to Maj. Krista Carlos, a spokeswoman for U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

Spaulding’s Article 32 hearing was held in 2006 at RAF Alconbury. The court-martial is being held at Mildenhall because Spaulding officially serves under the 501st Combat Support Wing, which is based out of RAF Mildenhall, Carlos said.

Jury selection is slated for Monday morning and witnesses are expected to be called as early as Monday afternoon, according to court officials.

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