Kadena captain pleads guilty in incidents of fraternization
April 8, 2005
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — A Kadena officer has pleaded guilty to charges that he fraternized with three enlisted female airmen and attempted to fraternize with a fourth over a two-year span.
After a special court-martial at the Kadena Law Center, Capt. Edelmiro Rivera, a pilot with the 909th Air Refueling Squadron, was sentenced March 31 to a $15,000 fine, loss of $1,200 in pay, 60 days restriction to base and a reprimand.
“The first incident of fraternization won’t normally land an officer in court,” said 18th Wing Judge Advocate Col. Gordon Hammock. “But this officer was put on notice for a previous Article 15, and thereafter had three later incidents.”
Rivera, 27, previously had been punished with a $3,800 fine and a reprimand after a December 2003 Article 15 ruling on fraternization charges.
The captain formed or attempted to form “close, personal and intimate relationships with each of the airmen,” according to Air Force records.
While far from encouraged, an enlisted airman fraternizing with an officer is not a crime, Hammock said; the legal onus for the relationship falls entirely on the officer.
It’s unknown whether Rivera will seek a lesser sentence. He and his advocate are allowed to ask for a reduced sentence while the court record is being assembled and reviewed by a military judge, in accordance with military law. Rivera faced a maximum fine not to exceed two-thirds of his pay, which would have been about $29,000, Hammock said.
Rivera has served at Kadena Air Base since August 2001, according to Air Force records.