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.


 
 

 

Just American: A century of Black life

Black History Month, or National African American History Month, is an annual celebration of achievements by black Americans and a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted Harvard-trained historian Carter Woodson. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially...
 
 

Don’t underestimate the importance of sacrifices

As I was reviewing some enlisted performance reports and decorations today, I started contemplating a huge event in my life that occurred almost 20 years ago. In April of 1995, I asked my then girlfriend Tiffani, a fellow Airman at the time, to be my wife, for better or worse. We were married later that...
 
 

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

- What captures your attention?  We look forward to better homes, better jobs, families that don’t fight.  We plan for retirement and hope to live out our days in peace.  But as one person so aptly states, “we plan for happiness, but we’re formed by suffering.”  A foundation that does not give way to the...
 

 
rufit-edit

RUfit? Thriving outside the biodome

Staying fit, sharpening our knowledge about suicide and building resiliency are all hot topics in today’s Air Force. As all of these elements are crucial, resiliency encompasses almost everything that weighs heavy in our ...
 
 

Everyone can be great

A few weeks ago, a football player for the Dallas Cowboys was asked what he’d like from the playoff game home crowd. The player, J.J. Wilcox, responded, “Just be great.” For some reason, that phrase stuck in my mind, and it continued to nag me. Then, I realized why.  One of my foundational beliefs is...
 
 

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

- An article in the Atlantic Monthly asked the readers to think about things that lead them astray.  If we put it in religious categories, the things that typically lead us astray are: lust, fear, vanity, gluttony.  They are in the words of the author, “the fulfillment of momentary and passing desires.” Why are we...
 




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>