Metro-East News

Trial of Air Force sergeant accused of sexual assault to resume Wednesday at Scott

Tech Sgt. Isaac O. Concey
Tech Sgt. Isaac O. Concey

The court martial trial of an Air Force technical sergeant facing a charge of aggravated sexual assault and causing bodily harm is set to resume at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Tech Sgt. Isaac O. Concey, a member of the 375th Aerospace Medicine Squadron, is accused of inappropriately touching an enlisted female airman’s genitals without her consent while she slept during an incident in Germany in 2011.

Col. Shelly Schools, the judge overseeing the case, at the end of Tuesday empaneled a jury consisting of seven officers — four women and three men, occupying every rank from first lieutenant to full colonel.

Military prosecutors won a victory in the case Tuesday morning when Schools ruled prosecutors could submit as evidence into the trial a series of unwanted advances Concey allegedly made toward the woman in 2010. Prosecutors say the evidence would help show a pattern of escalating misconduct by Concey.

Concey’s alleged physical advances occurred between January and August 2010, at nightclubs near Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, where both Concey and his alleged victim were stationed at the time, and where Concey served as the victim’s supervisor.

The unwanted advances, according to prosecutors, include kissing, touching and sexually-charged comments that occurred while the two were stationed at Spangdahlem.

The woman was a junior airman under Concey’s direct supervision in 2010 and 2011.

Concey’s advances migrated from off-duty and night clubs to the workplace, where Concey began making suggestive comments about the victim’s breasts, said Capt. Ryan Reed, one of the prosecutors assigned to the case.

“Now these comments are being made at work,” Reed said during a preliminary hearing on whether to admit evidence of these earlier encounters. “It shows his interest, his attention to her.”

But civilian defense attorney Matthew Radefeld sought to undercut the testimony of the witness by pointing out that her memory of her encounters with Concey at the club was clouded by alcohol and that inconsistencies marked her statements to investigators with the Air Force Office of Special Investigation.

During one incident at a nightclub, Concey led her to a supply closet. Once inside the closet, Concey tried to kiss the victim “in a rough manner, and I pulled away,” she said. “He grabbed my head and tried pulling my head to his crotch area.”

The victim acknowledged she did not report the incident to law enforcement or her unit commander.

“I was very confused,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on or why.”

Radefeld, the defense lawyer, noted the victim remained at the club that night after leaving the closet.

“She gets out and continues to ‘club it’ and she doesn’t leave,” Radefeld said. “She can’t pinpoint a date” when the incident occurred.

The victim, who left the Air Force earlier this year, acknowledged that she waited several years before reporting Concey’s alleged assault against her.

Reed, the prosecutor, asked her why she waited so long before reporting the incident.

“I really didn’t think anyone would believe me,” she said.

But she changed her mind after learning she might spend the rest of her enlistment working with Concey. The same thing had happened to a female co-worker who’d been sexually assaulted by her supervisor, the victim said.

“I would hear her crying in the bathroom stall frequently,” she said. “I just didn’t want to be that girl in the stall crying every day.”

Concey is the second airman stationed at Scott to face a general court-martial for sexual assault in a span of six months.

In late August, an Air Force judge sentenced Tech Sgt. David Helm to 25 years in prison after Helm pleaded guilty to the rape of a child and desertion.

Helm, 35, had been scheduled for trial earlier in 2015 on charges of sexually assaulting a girl between the ages of 12 and 16 at several locations in 2013 and 2014, including at Scott and in Tennessee.

Helm, however, went missing from Scott Air Force Base on May 29, just before his trial was set to start. He was declared a fugitive in early June and later arrested in Nevada.

Mike Fitzgerald: 618-239-2533, @MikeFitz3000