Commentary

July 27, 2012

My job is prosecuting sexual assault

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 can be found at 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.


 
 

 

News Brief October 31, 2014

Blood drive The next American Red Cross Blood Drive at Edwards is 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Nov. 5 in the Chapel 1 Annex. Both walk-ins and appointments are accepted. To make an appointment, contact the blood drive coordinators at 661-277-0824, or self-register online at the American Red Cross website http://www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation using sponsor code: “Chapel1″ If you...
 
 
holiday-meal

Joshua Tree Inn Dining Facility holiday meals

The Joshua Tree Inn Dining Facility is pleased to announce that The 2014 holiday meals at the Joshua Tree Inn Dining Facility will be served Thanksgiving, Nov. 27, and Christmas Day, Dec. 25, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. †The meals...
 
 
library

Edwards Library tops for successful summer program

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber In children’s reading programs, there are many ways to track their progress such as number of books read or length of time spent reading. During the summer reading program, the Base L...
 

 
health-fair1

Health fair

  Senior Airman Dominique Lyles, 412th Medical Group medical technician, places her hand under the glow germ demonstration at the Kern County Environmental Health Division booth during the 412th MDG Health Fair held Oct. 2...
 
 
soccer

Soccer league

The Edwards co-ed adult soccer team is accepting new players ages 16 and up. The team is self-funded and plays in the co-ed Antelope Futbol League. †Practices are held on Wings field each Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 5:15...
 
 

Step up to better health with AFMC’s challenge

Do you have ‘sitting disease’? Too much time sitting down may put you at risk for health problems. When muscles don’t contract, they require less fuel, and the surplus of sugar that accumulates in the bloodstream contributes to health concerns. Research has shown that sitting for long periods of time – watching TV or at...
 




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>