AIRMAN "HIT ON" OFFICER'S TEENAGE
Senior Airman James Bland admits he has a problem - a very serious one. The married father of two young children likes to "hit on" teenage girls.
During his general court-martial at Misawa AFB in Japan, the enlisted man acknowledged "…because of my actions, I've lost my military career and almost my family."
The former member of the 35th Security Forces Squadron got in big trouble when he started hanging around a school bus stop near the Circle K off base. There, Bland said he'd "check out" the girls. The one that caught his eye, a 14 year-old, turned out to be an officer's daughter.
According to court papers, Bland admitted he "fondled" the girl on three separate occasions, taking her by the hand and touching the girl in an inappropriate way off to the side of the Circle K.
The OSI (Office of Special Investigations) at Misawa started investigating the airman after the father of one of the victim's friends heard about the fondling. He told the teen's officer dad, and the brass hat went straight to the authorities.
Bland was lucky. Col. Steven A. Hatfield, chief military judge for the Pacific Circuit, could have sent the 23 year-old airman to the slammer for 20 months. Instead the judge imposed a 15-month term of confinement, issued a "bad-conduct" dicharge, and reduced the enlisted man in rank to the grade of E-1.
At the conclusion of the proceedings, the shamed airman was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.