Commentary

April 25, 2014

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: The Legal Perspective

Air Force graphic by Naoko Shimoji

All sexual assault allegations are taken very seriously by members of the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps, including those of us at Edwards Air Force Base.

In recent weeks, you have read articles from other base organizations that investigate and provide assistance to victims of sexual assaults.

While the legal office works closely with those organizations, we are the organization responsible for advising commanders regarding UCMJ actions and ultimately prosecuting sexual assaults.

JA is one of the first organizations notified anytime there is an unrestricted report of sexual assault.

The Staff Judge Advocate assigns an attorney and a paralegal to begin working on a sexual assault case as soon as we are notified. JA coordinates closely with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations from the outset of any investigation.

The ultimate goal for JA as the government representative is to seek justice, which may involve prosecuting offenders in courts. All our actions revolve around the basic premise that any given case may end up being decided in a court of law.

The attorney and paralegal assigned to the case review evidence, interview witnesses and prepare for trial should a trial become necessary based on the evidence.

While it is difficult to describe the entire courts-martial process in a short article, it is important to understand that in sexual assault cases the victim is an extremely critical witness for the government.

When a victim testifies at court, he or she has the opportunity to provide their side of the story. A victim’s testimony is a key piece of the justice puzzle that enables the ultimate fact finder, whether that is a judge or a panel of members, to determine questions of guilt and appropriate sentences.

If you have any questions about the courts-martial process, or the legal office in general, do not hesitate to stop by the 412th Test Wing legal office in Bldg. 1.




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


 
 

 

Focus on deliberate self-development

I am an American Airman. I am a warrior. I have answered my nation’s call. These words should resonate with each of us who have the honor and privilege of wearing the uniform. Each time I recite our creed, I feel a sense of pride. I hope every Airman reading this shares my sentiment. Each...
 
 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

- What is your purpose?  That question is asked of us throughout the years. Perhaps a better question should be “have you forgotten your purpose”? Professor Clayton Christensen at Harvard Business School states it this way, “Over the years I’ve watched the fates of my HBS classmates from 1979 unfold; I’ve seen more and more...
 
 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sarah Hall-Kirchner

Meeting veteran helped me feel connection with grandfather

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Sarah Hall-Kirchner Dale VanBlair, World War II veteran, addresses the crowd that honored him for his 93rd birthday in Belleville, Illinois, June 17. VanBlair thanked everyone for coming to...
 

 

Through our character – an opportunity to reflect on important issues in our community

- How does a person grow?  We know plants require sun, water and food. People need the same elements on the physical level but what about on the spiritual, emotional, and psychological level?  One person recommended this “balanced diet”: scriptures, stories, examples, community, and healthy practices. It is balanced because it relies on proper intake...
 
 
afmc-cc-message

Taking inspiration from our founding fathers

The Air Force is no stranger to challenging times. That’s certainly the case today where, in the current fiscal climate, much is outside of our control and we are faced with a great deal of uncertainty. As I weigh that un...
 
 

Independence Day message from 412th CC

Team, This Friday we celebrate the birth of our great nation and its declared independence. The Declaration of Independence is the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty and Thomas Jefferson’s most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy...
 




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>