Air Force recruits describe mistreatment

Dec. 11, 2012 at 5:27 PM

SAN ANTONIO, Dec. 11 (UPI) -- Witnesses at a hearing said a U.S. Air Force staff sergeant had inappropriate relationships with female trainees and forced recruits to drink from a toilet.

In the hearing at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, four women testified Monday that Staff Sgt. Ryan Deraas friended them on Facebook after they completed training, the San Antonio Express-News reported. They said he began by flattering them and then escalated into requests like asking for nude pictures.

One woman, weeping, said she would get messages saying things like "I'm horny."

Deraas could face more than 11 years in prison if he is convicted.

Other former trainees described being forced to fill their canteens from the toilet because one had been unable to recall his father's telephone number for a form. Deraas allegedly ordered two others to leave a toilet after they had drunk large amounts of water.

Nine instructors at Lackland have now been charged with misconduct. Investigators say 49 female trainees were victimized by sexual assault, inappropriate relationships or sexual harassment.

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