Ramstein airman guilty of giving alcohol to minors
RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — A jury found a Ramstein-based technical sergeant guilty Wednesday of providing alcohol to minors under the age of 16 at a general court-martial.
Tech. Sgt. Daniel D. Merrill, 32, a member of the 735th Civil Engineer Squadron at Ramstein Air Base, will be reprimanded and reduced two pay grades. He also must perform 45 days of hard labor.
The jury found Merrill innocent on charges of committing indecent acts and indecent liberties against a female under the age of 16.
Merrill, who has been in the Air Force 13 years, had faced a maximum sentence of a reduction to the lowest pay grade, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, six months in prison and a bad-conduct discharge for the alcohol charge.
He was accused of committing indecent acts upon a 14-year-old girl and her 15-year-old friend for kissing them on the mouth in his basement May 29, 2005. The girls testified during the court-martial, which began Tuesday, that they played drinking games and strip poker with Merrill.
He was also charged with attempting to commit an indecent act with a female under 16.
Capt. Michael Carson, Merrill’s defense attorney, argued that one of the girls wasn’t trustworthy and the other two’s stories included conflicting information.
“The story from the very beginning is completely wrong,” Carson said during his closing arguments.
Air Force prosecutor Capt. Adrian Brown told the jury Merrill used alcohol to take advantage of the girls and they had no reason to make up their stories.