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Girl, 15, takes stand in court-martial of Air Force officer

By Tom Beyerlein - Staff Writer

A 15-year-old girl took the witness stand Tuesday, testifying that she was physically and sexually abused from 2005 until 2011 by a relative, Air Force Lt. Col. Reginald Kabban, as the prosecution began presenting its case in Kabban’s court-martial at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

She said inappropriate sexual touching and physical abuse by Kabban, 41, of Beavercreek, escalated over the years, and included two incidents of rape in Centerville in 2011.

“The abuse started when she was just 7 years old and culminated in her being raped twice when she was 13,” Capt. Michelle Cianciosa, an attorney for the prosecution, told a military jury of nine men and one woman, all officers at Wright-Patterson.

But defense attorney Capt. Jonathan Legg said, “This case is about lies that have changed and shifted, by a person who has a motive to lie. This is an extremely smart, manipulative teenager who knows what she wants and knows how to get it.”

Legg told jurors the evidence will show the teen falsely accused a classmate of sexually abusing her earlier this year, then recanted. He also said the girl made inconsistent statements about Kabban’s alleged abusiveness.

“Based on her mom’s testimony, you’re going to doubt whether there was even the opportunity for these events to occur,” Legg said.

The Dayton Daily News isn’t naming the accuser because it is the newspaper’s policy not to name victims of sexual abuse.

Speaking quietly and clearing her throat often, the girl testified that Kabban began inappropriately touching her when he lived in Stafford, Va., and the abuse increased later when he moved to Centerville. She said she didn’t tell her mother or others because “at first I was afraid and ashamed and embarrassed of everything that happened to me.”

She eventually told her therapist, who reported the allegations to authorities, she testified.

Kabban faces military charges of rape of a child, aggravated sexual conduct with a child, aggravated sexual contact with a child and other offenses. Military Judge Lt. Col. Joshua Kastenberg said the court-martial could run into Saturday.

During Tuesday’s session, prosecutors acknowledged that the girl’s testimony will be the primary evidence against Kabban. The girl is to be cross examined by the defense today.

Kabban came to Wright-Patterson in 2009 and is deputy chief of the development and planning branch of the business and enterprise directorate of the Life Cycle Management Center.

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