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.


 
 

 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 
 
DoD

Air Force rebuts report due to outdated data

WASHINGTON (AFNS) – The Air Force believes a recent Department of Defense Inspector General report that critiqued Air Force MQ-9 procurement plans to buy 401 Reaper aircraft, stating that 46 aircraft may not be needed, is based on data that is out of date. “The data in the report is a year old,” said Lt Gen Robert...
 
 
DoD

DoD takes steps to aid absentee voters

WASHINGTON – As the Nov. 4 midterm election nears, Defense Department officials are taking steps to ensure absentee voting is even easier for service members, their families and overseas citizens via FVAP.gov. In coordination with the military services and State Department, Absentee Voting Week begins today, aiming to raise awareness and remind voters of important...
 

 
DoD

AF integrates TAP into new Military Lifecycle Model

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — The redesigned Transition Assistance Program is in its third and final stage and will be integrated into the new Defense Department Military Lifecycle Model, Air Force Personnel Center officials said. The MLC, which was implemented Oct. 1, is the latest in a series of improvements to the Transition...
 
 
DoD

Ice bucket challenge – What does DOD say?

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — If you have been following social media lately, you’ve seen the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge all over your newsfeed and Instagram. This has become an internet phenomenon in which people get doused with ice water to raise money to combat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease....
 
 
DoD

Inspector General Hotline gives DOD employees options

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — In an organization as large as the Defense Department, bad or outdated policies or regulations can remain in place, and sometimes there are bad actors. The DOD Inspector General operates a Hotline that has been instrumental in changing policies, uncovering fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement and in helping the government save money....
 




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