EGLIN AFB — An Air Force Reserve pilot with the 919th Special Operations Group at Duke Field has been found not guilty of sexually assaulting a female senior airman during a 2017 deployment to Uganda, according to the public affairs office at Eglin Air Force Base.
Lt. Col. Michael B. Black, a C-145A Skytruck pilot, was alleged to have raped the airman twice, once on or around April 28-29, 2017, and a second time sometime between May 1-3, 2017, according to information in a charge sheet provided by Eglin Air Force Base. The charge sheet was released originally in March, as the allegations against Black surfaced in advance of court-martial proceedings. Black also had been charged with digitally penetrating the victim, against her will, on or around April 28-29, 2017, according to the charge sheet.
Specifically, Black had been charged with violating Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which covers a range of sexual assault charges. His case was heard last week at Eglin AFB by a military judge, rather than a panel of military personnel.
The military judge found Black was not guilty of any Article 120 violation, and also, more specifically, found him not guilty of any of the "specifications" in the charge sheet. Those specifications are the acts that had been alleged against Black in the charge sheet.
Black had been deployed to Entebbe, Uganda, in support of U.S. Africa Command at the time of the allegations of which he was cleared last week, according to an Eglin AFB spokesman.
Court-martial proceedings against Black originally began on May 6, but after a few days behind closed doors, those proceedings were halted and reconvened last Wednesday. The not-guilty verdict was announced on Saturday, an Eglin spokeswoman said Monday.
Black was brought onto active-duty status through his court-martial proceedings, and remains part of the Duke Field-based 919th Special Operations Wing, according to information from Eglin's public affairs office.