An Air Force officer will face a court-martial at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Monday after allegations of sexual and professional misconduct, according to a news release from the Academy.
Maj. Elaine Christian will be brought before the military court on suspicion of multiple violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including sexual assault, providing alcohol to a minor, and engaging in an inappropriate social relationship with a subordinate, case documents show.
In 2019, while working at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School, Christian was accused of groping a female trainee on at least two occasions. She was also accused of buying alcohol for underage cadets at the Academy and of having an unduly familiar relationship with a subordinate, according to case records.
The preparatory school, located on the Academy campus, provides training and education to prospective cadets who need assistance to meet Academy admission standards.
The trial comes as the military endeavors to improve its sexual assault prevention and response practices, particularly at its service academies. In the 2019-2020 academic year, the country’s five service academies received 129 total reports of sexual assault, down from 149 the year before, according to a February report from the Department of Defense.
However, the report notes, the sharpest decline in assault reports occurred during the fourth quarter, when academies sent students home and enforced social distancing at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.