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.


 
 

 

Honest answers to sexual assault myths

As Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month comes to a close, I want to take the opportunity to address three persistent myths regarding the Air Forceís Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program. These myths include a commanderís ability to start, stop or otherwise hinder a sexual assault investigation; what agencies can take a sexual assault...
 
 
disaster-prep

Emergency Management reminds folks to ‘Be Ready’

The recent devastating earthquake in Nepal can serve as a†reminder to California residents that the state is prone to earthquakes. With that said, Edwards Emergency Management is encouraging base personnel and residents to be...
 
 

Upcoming classes at Edwards Family Advocacy

Edwards AFB Family Advocacy has several classes available to help members of Team Edwards and their families. Below is a list of classes available in the next month. Relaxation 101 This training will add “tools to your toolbox” to enhance your ability to relax and identify when you are stressed. It is a three part...
 

 

Edwards community holds first town hall meeting for 2015

Air Force photograph by Edward Cannon Col. Eric Leshinsky, 412th Mission Support Group commander, addresses base residents and personnel during the first semi-annual Edwards AFB Town Hall meeting which was held April 22 at the Airman and Family Readiness Center. The meeting included briefings from the 412th Force Support Squadron, 412th Security Forces Squadron, Army...
 
 

Please don’t thank me for my service

The other day a good friend and mentor, a retired AF Master Sergeant, sent me a message made up of a few simple words. Words that we, folks who wear a military uniform, may be accustomed to … “Thank you for your service.” I don’t know about you, but I am very uncomfortable when people...
 
 
Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber

AGE Flight gets Air Force weapons loaders out of a jam

Air Force photograph by Rebecca Amber The nuclear-certified MHU-83 D/E Lift Truck received new wiring after the 412th Maintenance Squadron Aerospace Ground Equipment Flight discovered a defect in the manufacturing. True to a te...
 




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>