DoD

March 14, 2013

Hagel orders review of sex assault case, convening authority

Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has directed two separate reviews to ensure that the U.S. military justice system is appropriately protecting victims of sexual assault as well as dispensing justice to the accused, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said here today.

The orders are an outgrowth of a case against Air Force Lt. Col. James Wilkerson. Last year, a panel of military officers at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, found the colonel guilty of a sexual assault. The judge sentenced him to a year in prison and dismissal from the service.

Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, the 3rd Air Force commander, was the convening authority for the court-martial and reviewed the finished case and sentence. The general reviewed the case over a three-week period and used his authority under Article 60 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice to dismiss the charges against Wilkerson.

“He concluded that the entire body of evidence was insufficient to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” Hagel wrote in a letter about the case to California Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Dismissing charges like this is rare, officials said, but not unheard-of. A commander is not required to give a reason for the decision, and the commander’s decision is final.

Hagel ordered the Air Force Secretary Michael B. Donley and Robert Taylor, the Defense Department’s acting general counsel, to review the case against Wilkerson. He asked them “to assess whether all aspects of the UCMJ were correctly applied and to make recommendations on how the convening authority’s decision in this case could be more transparent,” Little said. Their report is due back to Hagel on March 20.

Hagel also ordered the acting general counsel to conduct a review of Article 60 of the UCMJ — the article covering the actions of the convening authority. Hagel is asking Taylor to provide an assessment of whether changes should be made in Article 60, and this assessment is due March 27.

Hagel has made it clear to military and civilian leaders that “eliminating sexual assault in the military is one of his top priorities,” Little said.

“Sexual assault is a serious crime that has no place in the department and he will not tolerate it,” he added. “Any member of the military that is convicted of sexual assault — no matter his rank or position — must be held appropriately accountable.”

U.S. service members must know that “they are protected from criminal assault by a system of laws that function promptly, fairly and justly,” Little said.




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


 
 

 

Diamond Sharp August 1, 2014

Name/Squadron:   Airman 1st Class Colby Evans / 43 ECS First Sergeant: Master Sgt. Jaime Lewis Duty Title: Knowledge Operations/Commander’s Support Staff When joined the AF: March 4, 2013 Hometown: Freemont, CA Hobbies: Playing various sports such as football and basketball, video gaming, hiking, drawing Selection Reasons: In Airman Evans’ short time in the Air...
 
 

Local Briefs August 1, 2014

AMMO to conduct inventory Aug. 8 The AMMO Flight will be conducting a 100% Change of MASO inventory, Aug. 8. Please direct any concerns to Munitions Operations at 228-8009. Stay and Play Wednesdays, 10-11:30 a.m. – Youth Center instruction room This is a new program for parents and children ages birth to five years. Features...
 
 

Quality of rituals determines quality of life

WHITEMAN AIR FORCE BASE, Mo. (AFNS) — Over the last year I’ve been on a quest to identify and highlight simple success strategies that, if followed, will increase career success. Where does one start on the path to becoming successful? Some would say, “habits,” but it goes farther than that. Habits are repeatable actions that...
 

 
DT_pict3

Colonel Blanchard bids farewell

Desert Lightning Warriors, It has been the singular honor of my 23 plus year career to serve you as your commander. Your dedication to excellence, service to the nation, and high standards of integrity never cease to amaze me, ...
 
 
(U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Gregory Ferreira)

Motivated to save lives

Airmen assigned to the 162nd Wing showcased their medical deployment skills during a decontamination exercise July 15 at the medical facility here. The decontamination, DECON, exercise lasted two days and consisted of three sce...
 
 

AF Marathon sells out, race transfer program announced

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFNS) — The Air Force Marathon has officially sold out all races and organizers have announced details for the transfer program. “The transfer program is the only official way for runners to give their bib to another runner,” said Rob Aguiar, the race director. The transfer program opened on July...
 




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=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin