TOKYO — An airman stationed at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa pleaded guilty and another is scheduled for a court-martial on charges of making and distributing indecent recordings without the subject’s consent.
Senior Airman Dante Torello of the 353rd Special Operations Group pleaded guilty Feb. 3 to videoing his victim’s genitalia without consent and distributing the recording, according to the court docket. A photo of Torello released in June 2019 by Kadena’s 18th Wing described him as a loadmaster for the group’s 1st Special Operations Squadron.
The incident occurred Aug. 2-3, according to the charging documents. The wing did not specify if the incident happened on the installation, if the victim was a service member or how the footage was recorded and distributed.
The military judge in Torello’s case, pursuant to his plea, found him guilty and sentenced him to four months of military confinement, a bad conduct discharge, and reduction in rank to airman basic, the lowest enlisted rank in the Air Force.
Senior Airman Ian Cadavona, of the same unit, is also charged with making and distributing an indecent recording, along with committing oral sex on someone without their consent and attempting to erase evidence.
A general court-martial is scheduled March 18-26 at Kadena for Cadavona. The charging documents allege the incidents took place Aug. 2-3 and Oct. 20.
Torello’s and Cadavona’s cases are connected, 5th Air Force spokeswoman Capt. Andrea Valencia told Stars and Stripes in an email Feb. 19.
“We cannot release the additional details on Torello’s case until after Cadavona’s trial,” she said. “It is not a court order but adhering to our Air Force policies to not release information that could interfere with upcoming trials.”
Valencia did not respond to further inquiry regarding that policy.
In fiscal year 2019, the military received 7,825 reports of sexual assault, a 3% increase from 2018, according to the Defense Department’s annual report of sexual assault in the military, dated April 28, 2020. This statistic includes service members and Defense Department civilians.
A tenant unit on both Kadena and Yokota air bases, the 353rd Special Operations Group is required to provide annual and quarterly sexual assault response and prevention training, 1st Lt. Josh Thompson, a spokesman for the 353rd, said in an email to Stars and Stripes Feb. 19.
“The 353rd Special Operations Group holds each of its members to the same standard of zero tolerance of sexual assault or sexual harassment,” he said.