Osan airman pleads not guilty in sexual misconduct case
OSAN AIR BASE, South Korea — An airman went on trial here Tuesday accused of sexual misconduct toward a female airman.
Senior Airman Jason A. Meier of the 51st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron is charged with indecent assault and unlawful entry of her room. The airman has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Meier is accused of entering the female’s dorm room while she slept, removing some of her clothing and touching parts of her body.
His special court-martial opened at 8 a.m. Tuesday before Air Force Col. Steven A. Hatfield, chief military judge for the Pacific Circuit, out of Yokota Air Base, Japan.
The jury consists of seven Air Force officers. Meier requested that the panel consist of officers, said Air Force Lt. Col. J. Steven Meador, the staff judge advocate for Osan’s 51st Fighter Wing.
According to the prosecution, the actions leading to the charges occurred in the early hours of June 19 at Osan Air Base. Meador said the unlawful entry charge arose from the accusation that Meiers entered the woman’s room and the indecent assault charge came from the accusation that he removed some of her clothing and touched her genital region.
According to the prosecution, when the woman awoke, Meier was lying next to her with his arm around her.
Meador said the two had seen each other on base but were not acquaintances. When the woman turned on the light, according to the prosecution, she recognized Meier.
Air Force Office of Special Investigations agents later questioned Meier in the incident.
The trial was to resume Wednesday morning, Meador said.
Prosecutors in the case are Capt. Chris May, circuit trial counsel from Yokota Air Base; Capt. Tamona Bright and Capt. Tom Gabriel, both of the Osan legal office.
Defense lawyers are Capt. Christina Jimenez, circuit defense counsel out of Yokota Air Base, and Capt. Gloria Downey, area defense counsel at Osan.