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Airman discharged, sentenced to six months in court-martial

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A 30th Security Forces Squadron Airman was sentenced to six months confinement, a bad conduct discharge and reduction to the grade of E-1 at a general court-martial here Sept. 23.

A panel of officers found Airman 1st Class Adrian Torres was found guilty of one specification of aggravated assault and three specifications of assault consummated by a battery, and not guilty of one specification of assault consummated by a battery.

Airman Torres pled not guilty to all five specifications of assault in violation of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The victim in all of the charges alleged was Airman Torres' wife. The pattern of spousal abuse, which spanned approximately 13 months, was first discovered on May 13, 2008 when the vicitm was sent to the hospital following an incident that led to the aggravated assault specification. Subsequent investigation by the 30th Space Wing Judge Advocate uncovered the four assaults consummated by a battery, a lesser violation of Article 128 than aggravated assault.

Capt. Wes McConnell, a senior trial counsel stationed at Peterson AFB, Colo., and Capt. Michael Schwartz, of the 30th SW Judge Advocate office, prosecuted the case. Maj. John Harwood, senior defense counsel, and Capt. Lance Smith, area defense counsel, both of whom are based at Nellis AFB, Nev., defended Airman Torres.

The court-martial coincidentally concluded on the same day that Col. David Buck, the 30th Space Wing commander, issued a memo calling on Team Vandenberg to join him in participating in Domestic Violence Prevention Month in October 2009.

"Contrary to some beliefs, domestic violence is not a family matter, it is a crime," the memo stated.