F.E. Warren Air Force Base, WY (KGWN) - Tech. Sgt. Michael L. Merritt, 319th Missile Squadron, facility manager, faced a judge-only General Court Martial March 17-18, 2014, and was sentenced to 50 years confinement, reduction to airman basic, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonorable discharge.
The offenses include charges involving four children spanning from 2003 through 2013, including aggravated sexual assault, sexual abuse, sodomy, assault consummated by a battery, kidnapping and attempted kidnapping.
The charges spanned Merritt's assignments in Germany and the United States. Military authorities here ordered Merritt into pretrial confinement last October after his reassignment to F.E. Warren AFB in August.
Most of the charges stemmed from offenses he committed while assigned to Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Merritt was assigned to the 319th Missile Squadron where he served in a support role and did not have direct contact with the base’s nuclear operations mission.
Merritt pled guilty to the charged offenses in exchange for agreement by the general court-martial convening authority to cap confinement at 25 years. There was no other limitation on sentence. The agreement saved four young child victims from having to testify and recount Merritt’s abuse in a litigated trial.