Air Force Major Acquitted in Sodomy Case

August 16, 1996

Air Force Major Acquitted in Sodomy Case

A military jury in San Antonio, Texas acquitted Air Force major Debra L. Meeks on Thursday of engaging in lesbian sex with a civilian, according to reports.

Meeks, 41, was charged with sodomy for her alleged involvement in a two-year homosexual relationship with Pamela Dillard. She was also charged with conduct unbecoming of an officer for supposedly threatening Dillard with a gun.

Defense lawyer Michael Tigar successfully argued that the plaintiff brought up false accusations against Meeks because she was intent on ruining the major's military career. Dillard, the prosecution's main witness, testified that her relationship with Meeks, which began in 1992 and continued even after the Air Force major transferred to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, was "intense," and involved oral sex. Dillard also claimed that Meeks sent her letters and cards about their relationship.

Tigar pointed out that written words weren't evidence of sodomy, and maintained that as long as the jury believed homosexual sex had not taken place, even if they thought Meeks to be a lesbian, it would be obliged to acquit her.

According to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, gays and lesbians may serve in the armed forces as long as they keep their sexual orientation a private matter and do not have intercourse with military personnel.

The military did initially offer Meeks a plea bargain in which she would have been able to plead guilty to an assault charge. Meeks refused, risking the loss of all her military benefits and the possibilty of facing up to eight years in jail. Though she has won the case, the major refuses to publicly comment on her sexual orientation.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.