FORT LEONARD WOOD, MO (KTVI) – A female soldier's testimony may have sent shock waves across Fort Leonard Wood Tuesday. She said a high ranking non-commissioned officer told her company that if any more sexual assault or sexual harassment cases came forward none of them would graduate. The man who allegedly said that is still on the base. The judge called the accusation remarkable but not related to the Angel Sanchez case.
The defense begins presenting its case Wednesday morning in the court martial of the former drill sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood. More than 20 people testified Tuesday including the Sanchez's fellow female drill sergeant. She said she was groped.
30-year-old Angel Sanchez is facing three counts. Under those counts there are 27 specifications or incidents. He's already admitted to disobeying a general order by having sex with three female private trainees. Many of the sexual misconduct accusations happened at Fort Leonard Wood, at least one happened in Afghanistan. There are a total of 8 victims.
If convicted on all charges Sgt. Sanchez could be sentenced to 275 years confinement and a receive a dishonorable discharge. One of Sanchez's fellow drill instructors testified he grabbed her buttocks and made suggestive remarks to her including asking her to remove her pants.
Sanchez's attorney, Ernesto Gapasin, realizes in some cases where there is smoke there maybe fire but not when it comes to his client. Gapasin said on Monday, "There's some smoke out there Roche but the fact is that's not our burden you know the burden of the government is to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that in fact he is guilty of these offenses and my opinion quite frankly he is not."
He added that there are problems with the credibility of some of the prosecution witnesses. He said, "There are some serious credibility issues, there's some inconsistencies and a lack of corroboration between some of the witnesses."