Air Force Academy sergeant faces hearing on 10 assault charges

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An F-16 Fight Falcon is parked outside the U.S. Air Force Academy Chapel at Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the winter of 2015. (U.S. Air Force/Mike Kaplan)

An Air Force Academy sergeant will face an evidence hearing Friday on a string of charges including 10 counts of assault.

Staff Sgt. Mariano Jackson, assigned to the academy's 10th Surgical Operations Squadron, is accused of a series of assaults between 2016 and 2019, most of which involve a victim described as his "intimate partner."


He also faces charges that he failed to register a rifle and a pistol he kept in on-base housing, and that he threatened a victim.

"It must be emphasized that charges are merely accusations, and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty," the academy said.

Several of the charges stem from a single incident on April 24. Prosecutors claim Jackson confronted his partner with a firearm, grabbed the alleged victim and choked her before covering her mouth and nose with his hands, court papers say.

The hearing will air evidence in the case against Jackson with a hearing officer weighing whether it's enough to send him to a court-martial.

The most serious charge against Jackson could put him behind bars for up to eight years. The other assault counts could bring between three months and three years.

After the hearing, academy leaders will decide whether to pursue the case at a court-martial, seek a lesser form of redress or dismiss the charges.

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©2019 The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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