Air Force Academy major accused of raping a child under the age of 12

(Photo: U.S. Air Force/MGN)
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (GAZETTE) - A special operations pilot at the Air Force Academy is facing charges of rape, rape of a child and three counts of sexual abuse of a child, the school announced Thursday.

Maj. Travis J. Burns will appear in military court Monday for an Article 32 hearing, which "is similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding," an academy news release says. "The primary role of the hearing is to determine if probable cause exists to support the charge and its specifications."

A preliminary hearing officer presides over the hearing and submits a report of the proceedings with recommendations to the special court-martial convening authority — in this case, the commandant of cadets. The commandant will decide whether to dismiss the case, recommend that it be referred to a general court martial or "dispose of the case through other disciplinary or administrative action," the release says.

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