Judge Lt. Col. Tiffany Wagner accepted Air Force Sgt. Joel A. Williams's guilty plea of dereliction for making sexually charged comments and advances towards three female co-workers; in which Williams outranked two of the women. William's plea was made in exchange for the prosecution to drop three additional sexual misconduct charges.
The incidents occurred over a period of three years at the Ellsworth Air Force Base. Judge Wagner sentenced Williams to 20 days of confinement (at an undisclosed location), in addition to a pay grade reduction. Williams previously held a pay grade of E-6, but has since been reduced to E-4. Although successful in its conviction, the prosecution originally sought a 90-day confinement sentence, in addition to an E-1 pay status. The prosecution stated that it sought a penalty which would deter similar future conduct.
Two of William's victims were senior airmen who worked in the same office as Williams. Both women testified that Williams, over a period of three years, sent unsolicited sexual messages and made in-person sexual passes. Both victims claimed that as a result of William's misconduct, they now each suffer from a multitude of mental complications, including an anxiety disorder.
Williams, who is married with children, gave an emotionally fueled testimony in which he apologized to the victims and his family. Defense counsel for Williams asked Judge Wagner to consider as mitigation William's status as a father; along with a prior clean record.
Williams has not been discharged, but his current enlistment term will end in January 2017. Williams is not expected to reenlist and will receive retirement benefits in respect to his new E-4 pay grade.