Germany-based airman to serve 30-day sentence after assault
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — It could have been much worse for Keith Medina.
The senior airman with the 21st Operational Weather Squadron at Sembach Air Base, Germany, will lose two stripes and serve 30 days in jail after being convicted last week of three assault and battery charges on two separate victims.
But in a general court-martial that ended Friday, Medina faced more serious sexual assault charges, alleged crimes that could have earned him a dishonorable discharge and at least 20 years in prison.
Capt. Etienne Miszczak, who prosecuted the case along with Capt. Lyndie Freeman, noted assault and battery under the Uniform Code of Military Justice is defined as unlawful touching but does not include a sexual element.
Medina, who pleaded not guilty to all charges, was accused of touching two women on three occasions without their permission in or near his Sembach dormitory room. He also was alleged to have sexually violated another woman during a night of drinking in the dorm.
The three victims in this case were young female airmen in Medina’s unit.
During his trial before a military panel of seven members and judge Col. William Orr, Medina was portrayed as someone with a reputation as a "ladies man."
"He was a player. He liked the ladies," testified one witness for the prosecution.
One victim said in court she was forced to testify against Medina, whom she still considered a friend. She hadn’t wanted to press charges, calling Medina’s unwanted passes "typical guy stuff," defense attorneys noted during the trial.
Whether Medina returns to his work site after serving his sentence will be determined administratively by his unit, Miszczak said Monday.