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Air Force Chief Master Sergeant Faces Sexual Misconduct Charges

In a 2014 file photo, U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Jose Barraza, 3rd Wing command chief, speaks to airmen and family members at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska (PETER REFT/U.S. AIR FORCE)
In a 2014 file photo, U.S. Air Force Command Chief Master Sgt. Jose Barraza, 3rd Wing command chief, speaks to airmen and family members at Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska (PETER REFT/U.S. AIR FORCE)

The Air Force has added two sexual misconduct charges against a noted former 12th Air Force command chief master sergeant facing an Article 32 hearing on Tuesday.

The service included the two specifications of indecent recording under Article 120c to Chief Master Sgt. Jose A. Barraza's case, according to a statement.

Barraza already faced 15 violations under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The charges were added after an Air Force Office of Special Investigations inquiry into Barraza, a former member of the 12th Air Force commander's advisory team, an Air Combat Command official told Military.com on Monday.

UCMJ Article 120c charges stipulate offenses such as indecent viewing, recording or broadcast, forcible pandering, or indecent exposure. The rule was designated in 2012 to address miscellaneous sexual misconduct.

Barraza is set to go before a judge for an Article 32 -- a preliminary hearing to determine if a court-martial should be pursued -- at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona. The hearing will determine whether there will be "a request for more evidence," a dismissal or the case should move forward to court-martial.

The original charges include one specification for willfully disobeying an order, seven specifications for dereliction of duty, two specifications for making false official statements, and five specifications for obstruction of justice in violation of UCMJ Articles 90, 92, 107, and 134 respectively, the statement said.

Col. Scott C. Campbell, commander of the 355th Fighter Wing, preferred the charges on March 30 and May 18. Barraza had been removed from his position in November due to "loss of confidence in his ability to carry out his duties," the Air Force said at the time.

Barraza is currently assigned to the 355th Operations Group at Davis-Monthan and carrying out duties during the ongoing legal process, the official said.

He joined the Air Force in 1989, according to Stars and Stripes.

Barraza began his 12th Air Force post in 2015; he was responsible for all enlisted personnel in the wing. The 12th Air Force, or Air Forces Southern, has a dual mission as an Air Combat Command component numbered Air Force and as the air component for U.S. Southern Command.

The ACC official said the service has been particularly mum on the charges surrounding Barraza's case, given the OSI investigation.

"When OSI embarks on an investigation, it is inherently a criminal investigation," a military lawyer told Military.com in September. "It's driven by the nature of the allegation from the get-go," the lawyer said, speaking generally to military investigations.

A determination was made that Air Combat Command would be the lead communicator on the case instead of Davis-Monthan, the official said.

A timeline for the alleged crimes was not disclosed.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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Air Force Law Enforcement