Air Force Academy Cadet Found Guilty on Two Sexual Assault Charges

Air Force Academy cadets participate in the annual Acceptance Day Parade.
Academy cadets participate in the annual Acceptance Day Parade on August 10, 2020 at the U.S. Air Force Academy's Stillman Field. (U.S. Air Force photo by Trevor Cokley)

An Air Force Academy cadet was found guilty Saturday on two sexual assault charges in a court-martial that involved allegations by four women.

Judge Lt. Col. Dayle Percle sentenced Cadet Justin Couty to five years or 30 months for each charge, according to a Tuesday news release. She also dismissed him from the academy and required a forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

Couty was found not guilty on two charges of abusive sexual contact and one charge of sexual assault following a five-day trial.

During opening statements at the Air Force Academy last week, 1st Lt. Latravious Johnson laid out accusations of rape and unwanted sexual contact that happened in 2019 and 2021 at the academy and elsewhere in Colorado Springs.

Civil attorney Michael Waddington spoke in Couty's defense last week, pointing out in some cases the women didn't tell Couty to stop, and when they did verbalize discomfort, Couty followed their wishes. He also noted the allegations arose in an environment where rumors involving Couty were flying online.

The cadet elected trial by military judge, rather than a jury.

Military members found guilty of sexual assault can face up to 30 years in prison, an academy spokesman said previously.


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