NCO accused in child molestations
KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — A sergeant at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., has been charged with raping and sodomizing children, some under the age of 12, while stationed on Okinawa.
Tech. Sgt. Marc Palmosina, assigned to Travis’ Air Force Office of Special Investigation Detachment 303, faces multiple violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, specifically articles covering rape, sodomy, indecent acts and violating lawful orders, according to Capt. Michele Tasista, a Travis spokeswoman.
Tasista wouldn’t elaborate on the charges but said no Japanese children were involved.
“The case has not yet been recommended for a court-martial,” she said. “The Article 32 hearing will be held as soon as possible.”
That’s the equivalent of a preliminary hearing in a civilian court. A hearing officer, after examining evidence, makes a recommendation to the defendant’s commander whether the case should go to trial.
According to a Kyodo news report, Palmosina allegedly raped and sodomized children under age 12 on Kadena Air Base, where he was attached to AFOSI Detachment 624 from May 1999 to October 2001. He’s also accused of molesting girls under age 16 on Okinawa and raping and sodomizing children in Vacaville, Calif., near Travis.
Tasista couldn’t confirm the reports.
“Information on any victim or minor is not releasable,” she said. “Also, as a matter of policy, to protect the accused’s right to a fair trial, we can’t discuss the investigative process, to include the allegations and how they surfaced, which may compromise any victim or the accused’s right to fair and due process.”
Tasista said Palmosina has been reassigned to administrative duties “pending the upcoming court proceedings in this case.”
The charges came to light last week when a civilian attorney for Senior Airman Ahmad Al Halabi mentioned them to reporters during a preliminary hearing for his client, according to a Reuters report. Al Halabi is accused of carrying illegal documents from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was assigned as an Arabic translator for the suspected terrorists being held there.
The attorney said Palmosina, a key investigator in the Al Halabi case, was also charged with mishandling classified documents in that matter.