Jury Selection Starts In Air Force Rape Trial

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (AP) - Jury selection has begun at Sheppard
Air Force base in Wichita Falls for the court-marshal of a former
training group commander.
Col. Samuel Lofton III is charged with rape, four counts of
indecent assault and two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer.
He's accused of raping a woman and making sexual advances toward
her and another worker at Sheppard.
If convicted, he could get up to life in prison. Air Force
officers are being brought from bases nationwide to Wichita Falls
to serve as potential jurors. The military jury must have at least
five members of similar rank and service time to Lofton.
Lofton's pleaded not guilty to rape and the other sex-related
charges, but he pleaded guilty during a pretrial hearing last week
to other charges. Those include 17 counts of larceny for about
$12,000 in unauthorized expenses on his government travel card. He
also pleaded guilty to being absent without leave on nearly a dozen
occasions.
He faces more than 100 years in prison and dismissal from the
Air Force on those charges.
Lofton served as commander for Sheppard's 82nd Training Group
for about three years.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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