An Air Force Reserve technical sergeant has been charged in federal court for allegedly groping women’s breasts at the Warrior Fitness Center on the Hill Air Force Base.
James M. Busby, 34, is charged with three counts of misdemeanor sexual battery, which are each punishable by up to a year in prison, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. The case is assigned to U.S. Magistrate Paul Warner and is scheduled for a status hearing on March 28.
The misdemeanor counts of sexual battery stem from events around Nov. 8, 2011, according to KSL News. Each count states that Busby “did intentionally touch the breast” of three women at the Warrior Fitness Center. According to the Air Force Times, an officer received a complaint on Nov. 11, accusing Busby of “making sexually inappropriate acts towards patrons” at the fitness center. The officer interviewed witnesses, who provided the investigator with names of other potential victims.
According to multiple reports, Richard Essary, a Hill Air Force Base spokesman, said that the alleged incidents occurred when Busby was on civilian duty.
“Mr. Busby is employed by the Air Force in the 75th Logistics Readiness Squadron on Hill AFB,” Essary said. “He is also a technical sergeant in the 419th Fighter Wing, a Reserve organization on the installation. The alleged incidents occurred while Mr. Busby was acting in his civilian capacity and not his military capacity. The Air Force takes all allegations of sexual misconduct seriously. No further information will be released until the judicial process is completed.”
Busby’s case is the second sexual battery charge to be filed for an incident at a base fitness center in recent months, the newspaper reported.
Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Douglas J. Hammond was sentenced in June to 24 months of probation for fondling another man in a Hill Air Force Base steam room. Hammond, a 68-year-old former Syracuse (UT) city councilman, pleaded guilty in March 2011 to misdemeanor sexual battery for the incident at the Layton (UT) military base.