Fmr. Ellsworth Command Chief Master Sgt. removed for “substantiated” sexual harassment claims

Cmsgt Justin Robert Deisch Sized

photo courtesy: Ellsworth Air Force Base

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. — A former Chief Master Sergeant at Ellsworth Air Force Base was removed from his position in November for multiple, substantiated sexual harassment claims.

A Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Air Force Times shows CMSgt. Justin Deisch, who was the command chief at Ellsworth Air Force Base, sexually harassed at least two people during his time as a noncommissioned officer.

The first incident described by the Air Force Times was an incident at an Air Force Conference in Maryland in September 2021. The report says Deisch told the woman “she had gorgeous eyes and that he couldn’t stop staring” before cornering and grabbing her, resulting in a bruise from being pressed against the table. He also attempted to pass her a note with his hotel room and phone number on it, and later tried to follow her back to her hotel room without consent. The report said someone had to distract him so the woman could leave.

The woman told investigators “in the days after, [she] was crying for hours on end and having nightmares,” according to the Air Force Times.

Investigators cited witnesses who said Deisch was “overly flirtatious” even after learning the woman was married and her husband deployed.

Another unnamed airman said Deisch had touched his neck and shoulders during their first meeting and smacked him on the behind. The report says the man didn’t feel “intruded upon” but thought it was an “indication of a lack of barriers.”

28th Bomb Wing commander Col. Joseph Sheffield called an inquiry into Deisch’s behavior about a week after the conference.

A previous release from Ellsworth Public Affairs quoted Col. Sheffield as saying, “Inappropriate conduct undermines standards of good order and discipline,” said Col. Joseph Sheffield, 28th BW commander. “Based on the results of a thorough investigation, Chief Deisch’s removal was necessary to uphold these high standards. All Airmen should be treated with dignity and respect, and senior leaders should set the example for subordinates by exercising sound judgement and decision-making both on and off duty.”

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