Commentary

August 29, 2012

My job is prosecuting sexual assault

Commentary by Col. Don M. Christensen
Chief, government trial and appellate counsel

Here’s a simple truth…sexual offenders reject our core values of integrity, service and excellence, in favor of following their own base, undisciplined, criminal desires. Most sexual assaults committed by Airmen are “blue on blue,” or Airmen victimizing other Airmen. So in addition to rejecting our core values, these undisciplined Airmen reject the Wingman concept that we prize in the Air Force. They represent a direct threat to unit morale, good order, and discipline. They degrade combat readiness but with the combined efforts of command, law enforcement, and our team of prosecutors, they will be held accountable. Together, as a team, we will protect other Airmen and protect our strength and combat readiness as the world’s greatest Air Force.

Detecting and prosecuting sexual assault is our priority. Recently, we posted on the internet significant Air Force sexual assault prosecutions. The posting may be found here: http://www.afjag.af.mil/sexualassaultprosecution/index.asp.

As you can tell from a quick review of this information, we will prosecute sexual offenders anywhere they are found. From reviewing these cases, you can see sexual assault in the Air Force carries substantial penalties.

Our partners in AFOSI thoroughly investigate each allegation to provide commanders with timely, accurate, and prosecutable evidence. They pass the ball to commanders, who call upon my team to prosecute the offender to the maximum extent allowed under law.

Our team of prosecutors is better than any you will see in the civilian community or on TV. I have 17 highly skilled senior trial prosecutors, who are selected from among hundreds of judge advocates for their top notch trial skills. They have the very best trial skills in the Air Force JAG Corps. They prosecute the Air Force’s most serious courts-martial. Seven of my senior trial prosecutors have been identified as “Special Victim Unit (SVU)” prosecutors, due to their training and experience in combating sexual assault. They are dedicated to bringing justice to victims of sexual assault and ensuring commanders are able to appropriately hold offenders accountable.

In the typical case we prosecute, the accused Airman exploits his victim’s intoxicated state to commit the sexual assault. We are very effective in prosecuting these offenders, and the law encourages us to prosecute Airmen who use alcohol to facilitate sexual assault of substantially incapacitated victims. Prosecuting this kind of case is one of our core specialties.

The Air Force has done a great job training Airmen about respecting other Airmen and not sexually abusing their fellow Airmen. Training can reach many Airmen who might be tempted to commit this crime. For others, who cannot be persuaded by training, my team, the Senior Trial Prosecutors – Special Victims Unit, stands at the ready to vindicate the victims.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

The new fight: Writing cyber into the science of war

Every year, the Aspen Security Forum brings together the top minds in defense, intelligence and homeland security. This year, more than ever, the conversation is turning to cybersecurity – protecting computer networks and everything attached to them. Cyber is constantly changing the way conflicts and combat unfold. Here, former U.S. Navy Rear Adm. William Leigher offers insights...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/Osakabe Yasuo)

Need help? Trust your ‘Shirt’

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Arizona — When young Airmen need help or are looking for guidance, a good place to start is with a senior NCO. Making it into the top 3 percent in the U.S. Air Force is a major accomplishment. Alt...
 
 

Local Briefs July 31, 2015

Sunset Horseback Ride August 8, 4 – 8 p.m. – Outdoor Rec Saddle up and enjoy a 2-hour sunset horseback ride through the Saguaro National Park.. Final deadline for sign-ups is July 31. Minimum age: 18. Cost of $25/person. Call 228-3736 for more information. White water rafting and camping Aug. 20 – 24 – Grand...
 

 
(Courtesy Photo)

A Q&A with Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis

The men and women of the 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) welcomed a new First Sgt. in May. Master Sgt. Jaime M. Lewis, began his career in 2000 as an Aerial Porter, where he performed duties such as passenger services, car...
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo/ Master Sgt. Jeffrey Allen)

Relationship building by means of the F-16

  America’s stars and stripes and Arizona’s lone copper star always wave proudly at the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing. But it’s the adjacent flags of coalition-partners – from the pacific island-nat...
 
 

Military life: Separated, but not alone

  MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho — As the dawn broke out over the mountains, I woke up to the sun peeping through my window. Once I got up I went straight to the kitchen to make my family breakfast yet in the back of my mind, all I could think about is how am I...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>