Air Force chief master sergeant faces sex allegations

A military judge will decide if charges against William Gurney will go forward. A military judge will decide if charges against William Gurney will go forward.
Associated Press / May 28, 2010

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DAYTON, Ohio — Four female airmen described their flirty relationships with a chief master sergeant yesterday, a day after another testified that she repeatedly told him “no’’ just before he had sex with her in his office at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The Air Force hearing is looking into allegations that William Gurney, while he was the top-ranking enlisted man at the Air Force Materiel Command, sexually harassed nine female subordinates.

The women who took the stand yesterday said that they flirted with the 27-year veteran through text messages.

But the most serious accusation came Wednesday when one of Gurney’s female subordinates said he had sex with her against her will. The master sergeant said she didn’t fight back because she was stunned and feared his power and influence.

Both the woman and Gurney are married.

Gurney’s attorney said the woman only recently said she had sex against her will, after making earlier sworn statements that didn’t mention that allegation. Major Gwendolyn Beitz, who is leading Gurney’s defense, asked the woman whether Gurney had used any threat, force, or restraint as they had sex.

She responded that he hadn’t. She said the encounter last year began when she stopped by his office and they began kissing, which they had done before. The Associated Press is not naming the woman. Beitz said the woman never characterized the sex as unwanted until she faced telling her husband she could be demoted for having an affair. top stories on Twitter

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