Mildenhall airman gets eight months for assaults
RAF MILDENHALL, England — An RAF Mildenhall airman Tuesday was sentenced to 8 months’ confinement for violent assaults on two fellow servicemembers at on-base clubs earlier this year.
After two days of testimony on a raft of charges for assault, “use of provoking speeches or gestures” and obstruction of justice, Airman 1st Class Deepak N. Singh from the 100th Civil Engineer Squadron also received a bad-conduct discharge and was reduced in rank to airman basic, according to the 100th Air Refueling Wing’s legal office.
Singh was found guilty of assaulting Senior Airman Jonathan Montano at Mildenhall’s Galaxy Club in July and obstructing justice by giving a friend a false official statement to submit to police about the incident.
He was convicted by Col. Gordon Hammock, the military judge, in the judge-only special court-martial.
Singh was cleared of allegations that he had also used sexually aggressive speech toward Montano and inappropriately touched him in the July 9 attack.
Testimony in the case began Monday afternoon when Singh also pleaded guilty to a specification of assault in which he admitted punching Airman Natasha M. Houston in the face at the RAF Lakenheath Liberty Club in September.
“In that mix-up, I hit Airman Houston in the eye, which I am sorry for,” Singh said.
Under questioning from Hammock, Singh said a dispute broke out on the dance floor and claimed he hit Houston in the confusion, though he wasn’t drunk at the time. “I wasn’t sure where I hit her, I just threw a punch out there,” he said.
Pressed by Hammock whether he would call the blow a “sucker punch,” Singh said that it was.
Airman 1st Class James Keammerer testified Tuesday that he, Singh and a group of friends talked earlier in the evening about fighting with Montano, who admitted using a racial epithet against a black friend of Singh’s.
Keammerer said he later saw Singh punching Montano as the victim lay on the floor of the bathroom of the Galaxy Club.
In rebuttal, defense attorney Capt. Matthew Winfrey picked away at numerous inconsistencies in Montano’s statements to police.