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More Charges Filed against Former Air Force Academy Cadet

A hearing Monday will air new charges against an Air Force Academy cadet facing court-martial for an alleged sexual assault.

Cadet Mark Czerner was set for a trial this month on charges that he sexually assaulted a classmate in a car on the campus on Valentine's Day 2015. The academy said four additional charges were brought against Czerner on July 22: Attempted indecent viewing; attempted abusive sexual contact; abusive sexual contact; and conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

Czerner is no longer enrolled in classes at the academy, but can face military charges for his actions during his three years there. Officials say he's technically on leave.

The new abusive sexual contact charge could bring 15 years behind bars. His court-martial has been moved to October.

Monday's hearing will put evidence in the new charges before an officer who will issue a recommendation on whether there's probable cause to refer the matters to the October trial.

The new charges accuse Czerner of peeping on a female classmate. The charges also say he forced a woman to fondle his genitals and rubbed himself against her "with the intent to gratify his sexual desire."

Monday will be a busy day in local Air Force courts.

In addition to the Czerner hearing, trial will begin for a Peterson Air Force Base colonel on charges that include rape and adultery with a half-dozen paramours.

Col. Eugene Marcus Caughey is the highest-ranking Pikes Peak region airmen to go before a court-martial in more than a dozen years.

Caughey was the No. 2 officer in Schriever Air Force Base's 50th Space Wing at the time of the incidents, which go back to 2014.

Caughey's lawyers have argued that the adultery charges should be dropped because they violate the colonel's right to equal treatment under law. Homosexual airmen, they argued, face no similar consequence for stepping out on a spouse because, as written, the charge requires sex between a man and a woman.

Caughey faces a maximum punishment of life behind bars if convicted as charged.

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