Michael W. Fassbender, 32, of Spokane faces one count of first-degree rape in the alleged Oct. 19 incident. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.
The woman is a civilian whom Fassbender met through an online dating service, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, which handled the complaint with the help of base security officials and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.
Fassbender was arrested and released on $20,000 bond. He was to be arraigned Nov. 3 in Spokane County Superior Court, according to the sheriff’s office. Fassbender’s attorney, Christian J. Phelps, did not return calls to his cell phone or office seeking comment.
According to police and court documents, Fassbender and the woman met for dinner at a restaurant about 7 p.m. They had never seen each other but had exchanged e-mails for about a week.
After more than an hour eating and talking, Fassbender took the woman in his pickup truck to the base to show her where he worked, entering the base through a key code-controlled gate and driving to a building the school uses as a mock prisoner-of-war camp, the documents say. Before going inside, the couple walked to a nearby field and built a campfire.
The woman told police she agreed to a tour of the building, which has several small rooms used to practice interrogation techniques. Fassbender took the woman into one of the rooms, where the attack allegedly occurred after they had again talked for a while, according to authorities.
Fassbender then drove the woman back to her car at the restaurant. She drove home and called a friend, who called 911 for her.
Paramedics took the woman to a hospital to be treated for bruises and welts over much of her body, according to court documents. The hospital contacted the sheriff’s office about 1 a.m. Oct. 20, and a deputy went to the base to investigate the alleged crime scene.
With the help of base security forces and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the deputy identified Fassbender as the suspect. He was arrested when he arrived at work the next morning.
Fairchild officials did not respond to questions about security procedures on base.
Spokane-based SERE Solutions Inc., the company for which Fassbender taught survival, evasion, resistance and escape techniques, declined to comment.
Fassbender served in the Army from August 1995 until October 2007, according to his official service record. His last assignment was as a military policeman with the 511th Military Police Company at Fort Drum, N.Y. He deployed to Iraq from November 2005 to November 2006.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Education Industrial Complex, Military Industrial Complex Tagged: | 511th Military Police Company, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Air Force Survival School, Army, Christian J. Phelps, Fairchild Air Force Base, Fort Drum, Michael W. Fassbender, SERE Solutions Inc., Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, Spokane County Superior Court, USAF