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The Air Force has submitted a comprehensive list of Sexual Assault Convictions from fiscal year 2010 through August 2013. This is a first for any of the military services, according to the Air Force Times.

The report opens with a linked list of military bases where "significant sexual assault convictions" occurred. Alternatively, you can just scroll through all 50 Air Force Installations.

In the year 2012, there was a 57% conviction rate. For some reason, they don't list the conviction rates for 2010 or 2011. More below the orange peephole.

It's disconcerting to read this report.

Looking over the listed convictions there are a few points to make.

The vast majority of those convicted were young - they would have only been in the Air Force a couple of years with ranks from Airman Basic to Senior Airman. And within this group, the majority were discharged from the Air Force. Discharges fell into these two categories:

Bad Conduct (BCD)

A Bad Conduct Discharge (BCD) can only be given by a court-martial (either Special or General) as punishment to an enlisted service-member. Bad conduct discharges are often preceded by a period of confinement in a military prison. The discharge itself is not executed until completion of both confinement and the appellate review process.
Virtually all veterans' benefits are forfeited by a Bad Conduct Discharge; BCD recipients are not eligible for VA disability compensation in accordance with 38 CFR 3.12.


A dishonorable discharge (DD) can only be handed down to an enlisted member by a general court-martial. Dishonorable discharges are handed down for what the military considers the most reprehensible conduct. This type of discharge may be rendered only by conviction at a general court-martial for serious offenses (e.g., desertion, sexual assault, murder, etc.) that call for dishonorable discharge as part of the sentence.

With this characterization of service, all veterans' benefits are lost, regardless of any past honorable service, and this type of discharge is regarded as shameful in the military. In many states a dishonorable discharge is deemed the equivalent of a felony conviction, with attendant loss of civil rights.[11] Additionally, US federal law prohibits ownership of firearms by those who have been dishonorably discharged[12] per the Gun Control Act of 1968.

Something strange begins to happen with Non-commissioned officers (NCO's), especially those of the rank of TSgt or MSgt. They seem as likely to receive fines, reduction in rank, and confinement but are not dismissed from the military. Members of this rank will have served many years and may be eligible for retirement benefits. Sometimes families are involved and it makes me wonder if judges are hesitant to issue bad conduct or dishonorable discharges in these cases.

All officers and cadets convicted of sexual assault were at minimum, dismissed from the military. This is the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge.

The problems with some of these convictions are very apparent. If you have any concern of reading about sexual assault, do not read further.

Note that in all of these cases the convicted NCO remained in the Air Force. I question which commander wants these men to work in their units and which NCO wants them working by their side. Ironically, you can find similar cases in the numbers above where the men were either issued a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge.

Synopsis: A female Airman went to A1C Ransom’s dorm room to drink alcohol and watch television. They were friends with no romantic history. Intoxicated, the victim fell asleep on A1C Ransom’s bed and woke up to A1C Ransom sexually assaulting her.

Trial Results: On 15 Mar 13, at a general court-martial, A1C Ransom was convicted of aggravated sexual contact.

Adjudged Sentence: A1C Ransom was sentenced to 6 months confinement, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, reduction in grade to E-1, and a reprimand.

Trial Results: On 14 Oct 10, at Minot AFB, ND, SSgt Matteson was convicted by special court-martial of aggravated sexual assault and assault consummated by a battery.

Adjudged Sentence: SSgt Matteson was sentenced to confinement for 20 days, reduction in rank to E-3, and a reprimand.

Synopsis: In October 2011, SSgt Tovar sexually assaulted the female spouse of a military member who was substantially intoxicated and asleep.

Trial Results: On 4 May 12, at Little Rock AFB, AK, SSgt Tovar was convicted by general court-martial of wrongful sexual contact.

Adjudged Sentence: SSgt Tovar was sentenced to confinement 90 days, reduction in rank to E-2 and a reprimand

Synopsis: TSgt Bass was an instructor at basic military training from 2006-2010. In 2009, he committed several acts of maltreatment against his 55-member male training flight. Among the instances of maltreatment, TSgt Bass struck members in the genitals, ordered them to perform PT while naked in close proximity to each other, and ordered members to put icy-hot on their genitals as punishment.

Trial Results: On 24 Apr 13, at a general court-martial, TSgt Bass was convicted of 2 counts of abusive sexual contact, 4 counts of simple assault, 12 counts of cruelty or maltreatment, 4 counts of failure to obey a general order, and 7 counts of dereliction of duty.

Adjudged Sentence: TSgt Bass was sentenced to 6 months confinement, forfeiture of $1,000 per month for 3 months, and reduction in grade to E-5.

Synopsis: While a student in basic training, AB Mejia bullied a fellow trainee for being gay by making unwanted sexual contact with him.

Trial Results: On 10 Sep 12, at a general court-martial, AB Mejia was convicted of wrongful sexual contact and 2 counts of assault consummated by a battery.

Adjudged Sentence: AB Mejia was sentenced to 20 days confinement, forfeiture of $994, and a reprimand.

Trial Results: On 17 Nov 12, at a special court-martial, SrA Gilmer was convicted of wrongful sexual contact, obstructing justice, indecent language and dereliction of duty.

Adjudged Sentence: SrA Gilmer was sentenced to 60 days hard labor without confinement, reduction in grade to E-2, forfeiture of $200 per month for 6 months, and a reprimand.

Trial Results: On 9 Mar 13, at a general court-martial, MSgt Ratuszny was charged with aggravated sexual assault and 2 counts of abusive sexual contact. He was convicted of attempted aggravated sexual assault.

Adjudged Sentence: MSgt Ratuszny was sentenced to 2 months confinement and reduction in grade to E-6.

Trial Results: On 30 Nov 12, at a general court-martial, SrA Ilarraza was convicted of rape.

Adjudged Sentence: SrA Ilarraza was sentenced to confinement for 7 months and reduction in grade to E-1.

Trial Results: On 24 Oct 12, at a general court-martial, MSgt Mansfield was charged with 2 counts of wrongful sexual contact, 5 counts of cruelty or maltreatment, assault consummated by a battery, and simple assault. He was convicted of 5 counts of cruelty or maltreatment and 2 counts of assault consummated by a battery.

Adjudged Sentence: MSgt Mansfield was sentenced to confinement for 3 months and reduction in grade to E-4.

I'll leave it to the rest of you to discuss in the comments if this is a helpful move on the part of the Air Force. What do you think they hope to accomplish by publishing this data?
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Comment Preferences

  •  Break down of the numbers: (25+ / 0-)

    AB - 7
    Amn - 1
    A1C - 25
    SrA - 18
    SSgt - 26
    TSgt - 8
    Msgt - 3
    2nd Lt. - 1
    1st Lt - 2
    Capt. - 3
    Cadet - 3

    bad conduct discharge - 25
    confinement, fine, and/or reduction in rank but remained in service - 21
    dishonorable discharge - 43
    dismisal - 6(officer) 3 (cadet)

    •  The "remained in service" number is lower than 21 (6+ / 0-)

      I noticed a good number of trainees convicted weren't shown as discharged as part of the punishment.  But because they were convicted while in training, their separation would follow automatically once their punishments were served, as the conviction would disqualify them from completing training.  I'm thinking that the actual punishment in those cases didn't include the discharge as that would have been redundant.

      In the cases of senior NCO's, the convictions and reductions in rank would initiate a separate action in the security branch which would cancel their security clearances, thus disqualifying them from their jobs and them separating from service.

      I think it's good that the Air Force has come forward, as it begins to help give some detail to the macro problem of sexual assault in the military culture, but at the same time this information is only an opening.  It would take a military lawyer with specific knowledge of each case to know the story behind each synopsis provided here.

      Hopefully the other branches will come forward with information like this as well.

      Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

      by cks175 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:37:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read in the Air Force Times article that the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Carol in San Antonio

        Navy is doing something similar:

        In July, the Navy released the results of each court-martial and special court-martial from January to June — 135 in all. Although it included all crimes, the Navy said it was an effort to curb sexual assault, and the service plans to publish the information regularly.
        The problem with not receiving an actual bad conduct or dishonorable discharge is that I don't think it informs the civilian community of the reason for the separation. We're basically allowing those convicted of sexual assault to re-enter the civilian world without penalty - unless an employer  runs an internet search and finds their name attached to this document.
        •  It's very case specific, caution against (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:


          Remember that prosecutors tend to load up as many charges as possible.  This report seems to include cases where there were charges of a sexual offfense nature, but no conviction on the sexual offenses. i.e. the last example you listed for MSGT Mansfield.  He was charged with wrongful sexual contact, cruelty, assault and battery, but the sexual contact charges didn't stick.

          My guess is this was a training instructor/drill sergeant hazing trainees.  Given the differing cultures among the services, it's very possible that whatever conduct got this Air Force Master Sergeant 3 months confinement would have gotten an Army or Marine Drill Instructor maybe a written reprimand in his local (i.e. temporary) file.

          In the cases where A1C (Airman First Class) and AB (Airman Basic) were convicted on sexual charges but not dismissed as part of the punishment, they still have criminal records that carry forward into civilian life after they are separated.

          I'm not defending the culture here, but I think these summaries don't give enough information to draw some of the conclusions they might lead us to.

          Dont Mourn, Organize !#konisurrender

          by cks175 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 03:18:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. I look forward to reading a piece by (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            SWAN or another of the organizations with more legal training.

            But I do think the culture does need to change, including the part that allows for hazing at basic. I know a lot of people will disagree with me but if we can't train our recruits without treating them like shit, maybe we just shouldn't have a military anymore.

  •  Thanks for getting this data out there. (6+ / 0-)

    On a side note, I spotted an article in my local paper a few weeks ago and doubt I'll get the opportunity to write it up, but it fits in with your post.

    Delores Barr Weaver backs national effort to support victims of military sexual assault

    Delores Weaver is the wife of the previous owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, an NFL team.  

    In May, Weaver donated $500,000 and pledged $500,000 more in matching funds to Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group founded in 2011 that is fighting for an independent, impartial military justice system.

    Protect Our Defenders’ advisory board includes Jacksonville Beach resident Paula Coughlin, the former U.S. Navy lieutenant who spoke up about the 1991 Tailhook scandal and recently testified before Congress.

    The nonprofit’s executive director is Taryn Meeks, who has served as a JAG Corps officer at Jacksonville Naval Air Station and as the branch officer in charge for the Defense Service Office Southeast at Mayport Naval Station.

    The group’s founder and president, Nancy Parrish, is from Tampa.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:13:00 PM PDT

    •  Here's a link to that fine group (I hope) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angelajean, JaxDem

      To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. Roger Ebert

      by lexalou on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:28:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There is definite movement towards helping (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      viral, JaxDem

      victims of military sexual assault. It's positive in so many ways. The efforts are also shining a brighter light on the current status quo... which seems to not be changing very much at all. Those lights might make all the difference at the end of the day.

      Thanks for the link JaxDem. I wish the organization all the success in the world and hope it can be replicated in other places.

  •  Not certain. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    viral, angelajean, lexalou, GreenMother

    When I was in (Navy, not AF), the higher your rank, the higher a standard you were held to.  What would get a SN (E-3) a month in the brig would get a CPO (E-7) busted to SN (E-3) and a year in the can.  And felonies were an automatic discharge.  Nobody wanted to serve with felons.

    Maybe the AF is trying to show that they are trying?  If so, they're not doing much of a job at it.

    I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

    by trumpeter on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 02:39:09 PM PDT

  •  Do these people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    become registered sex offenders?

  •  A few comments about your latter examples... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    (None of what I'm about to say excuses the conduct in question in any way, shape or form; I'm merely speaking to the analysis made by the diarist and the vagaries of military law.)

    You wrote:

    Note that in all of these cases the convicted NCO remained in the Air Force. I question which commander wants these men to work in their units and which NCO wants them working by their side. Ironically, you can find similar cases in the numbers above where the men were either issued a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge.
    First, 4 of the 9 cases you listed involved airmen, not NCOs.  The ranks of Airman Basic (AB), Airman (Amn), Airman First Class (A1C) and Senior Airman (SrA) are not NCOs.

    Second, some of these cases seem sketchy at first glance.  For instance, you listed SSgt Matteson's sentence, but when you read the synopsis:

    During consensual horseplay between SSgt Matteson and his female subordinate at her house, SSgt Matteson sexually assaulted her.
    it seems (to me) that there's some substantial room for argument in this case.  The boundary between "consensual horseplay" and "sexual assault" is blurry, and could legitimately argue for leniency.  I did a quick read of the full document, and I must say that, based solely on the synopsis provided for each case, this looks like the "iffiest" conviction in the list.

    Third, we have to compare the sentence to the offenses for which the convictions were earned.  In the case of MSgt Mansfield, he wasn't convicted of a sexual offense, and his sentence matched the offenses of which he was convicted.  

    Fourth, there are several of your examples in which all parties were apparently intoxicated.  That may have been a mitigating factor in conviction, acquittal and/or sentence; we simply don't know.

    We have to be very careful about dissecting matters involving the UCMJ, because many of its provisions do not necessarily match up with what we see in civilian law.  Take a look at Article 120 of the UCMJ; it lays out, in explicit detail, the differences among charges of rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, and abusive sexual contact.  (If you look it up, it has just been revised; be sure to get the 2012 version.)

    We can't expect an automatic-maximum-sentence approach.  It should be noted that no such approach exists in the civilian world; civilian courts routinely hear arguments for leniency.  In addition, the "first offense" approach to leniency is common in both military and civilian law.

    If you're interested in digging into the specifics of this stuff, here's the current Manual for Courts Martial, which goes into great detail on each Article of the UCMJ and its associated elements of proof.  (It's a 10Mb PDF - folks on a mobile device might want to wait to download it...)

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 04:15:01 PM PDT

    •  I realized after I published that I had (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Carol in San Antonio

      included the airmen in that list... poor editing and writing on my part completely. Honestly, reading all of those was mind-numbing and I think I should have waited to re-read and and re-write for tomorrow morning.

      While I agree that each case should be analyzed separately, there are still lessons to be learned from looking at the broad results. My questioning the judge in the cases of senior NCO's partially comes from the result of the case in Aviano, Italy where an officer found guilty of sexual assault was placed back on active duty by the convening authority. Part of his reasoning was that his family shouldn't have to suffer. I just wonder how often those thoughts color the judgements of other officers in these cases.

      And I think we can expect an automatic minimum rather than an automatic maximum. At minimum, if convicted of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, you should be out. We have enough people who want to serve that we don't need those who can't control themselves.

      The amount of alcohol in many of these cases was striking... but did you notice how many of those cases where ones where one of the two parties offered the other a 'safe place to stay' so they didn't have to drive home drunk. Those women placed their trust in these men because they serve side by side in the military. The Air Force teaches it's members to be good wingmen and these women trusted that concept. Their trust was broken. So while alcohol may have been a part of the problem, it was men that took advantage that broke the law. They don't deserve to stay in the military. Just my personal opinion.

      What we don't see in these numbers is how many of those women were kicked out as well. This only shows us the sexual assault conviction. I am sure a fair amount of these women were convicted of fraternization, of conduct unbecoming, etc.

      I think I'll pass on the current handbook for court martials... I read about the most recent court martial case involving the rape at the Naval Academy and my faith in the system is a little lacking at the moment. Not sure reading the rules will help me feel better! Maybe you would like to tackle a diary on the subject? I would love to see this topic discussed more.

      •  It's a tough row to hoe... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        And I think we can expect an automatic minimum rather than an automatic maximum. At minimum, if convicted of sexual assault or sexual misconduct, you should be out.
        Well, keep in mind that some forms of "sexual misconduct" do not result in a court martial.  Lesser offenses receive nonjudicial punishment under Article 15 of the UCMJ.

        Even offenses in which physical contact is involved are broken down into categories; for instance, "wrongful sexual contact" does not rise to the same level as does "aggravated sexual assault" or rape. You're suggesting that a service member who gets drunk and gropes someone through their clothes one time (say, on the dance floor at an enlisted club) should receive the same minimum punishment as does a rapist, and be tossed out of the service with a BCD or DD.  We don't do that in the civilian world...I think we do need to distinguish the severity of the different offenses and sentence accordingly.

        I am sure a fair amount of these women were convicted of fraternization, of conduct unbecoming, etc.
        Yes, but there's no way to avoid that outcome.  If the accuser engaged in acts punishable under the UCMJ, the fact that those acts led to a sexual offense by another person can't give them a free pass on their own willing violation of the UCMJ.
        I read about the most recent court martial case involving the rape at the Naval Academy and my faith in the system is a little lacking at the moment.
        FYI, that case hasn't gone to a court martial yet.  What you've been reading about is the Article 32 hearing, which is basically the military equivalent of a grand jury; an investigating officer conducts a hearing that determines whether court martial charges should be filed.  (I must say that, in all honesty, I see some pretty dodgy aspects to that case; I worry that it may eventually do more harm than good.)

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 08:50:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  If the judge didn't want the family to suffer, why (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        not just extend their access to BX privileges and housing allowance while the perp is processed out.

        Women having to serve with the males that assaulted them on post, keeping the gossip alive and in the work place as a result, and often the hostility too--for "telling" and not being a "Team Player" is one of the big factors that lead to these women becoming candidates for PTSD and other anxiety disorders long term.

        What happens to the target? Is that person out already or still working?

        I think it's great the judge is sympathetic to the family, but surely there must be another way to offer support to the family without keeping someone like that in. Even if the original target has been transferred or discharged, other potentials will be on post. If it's a one time thing due to bad judgement and alcohol--its just a bit unnerving, but if the guy has a history of serial assaults, then what?

        And would we know given the clusterf*ck that passed for investigations prior, if this person has a history of assault, assuming he had ever been reported or caught.

        Because traditionally, women learned not to report, because it often meant the end of a career and a lot of trauma-drama while they waited to be processed out.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 06:54:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Having said all of that... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...I forgot to mention that I do think it's a step forward for the AF and Navy to release this information; I hope that the other services follow suit in short order.

    I suspect that one of the purposes behind this release is to demonstrate the consequences of such actions to the rank-and-file.  That, in and of itself, is important.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 04:17:15 PM PDT

  •  Heh, ya got me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, GreenMother

    But I applaud some transparency.  I applaud them letting us take a real good look.

    Obviously under the existing conditions where military convening authority makes the final calls, who you know matters.......sad.

    Perhaps they hope to retain the use of training that they have paid a pretty penny for, but how do you trust these offenders in the uniform again?  What are the chances that the morale they are destroying isn't costing use triple or quadruple what they may be worth....and what is the cost in morale if they reoffend?  Is that 20 or 30 times what they may be worth in real dollars?

    •  I applaud the transparency too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Militarytracy, GreenMother

      Shining a light on the system may change the way the system works. I really don't see much reason for any of these men not to have been discharged. And the longer they served only makes me wonder how many times they got away with crimes that they never had to stand trial for.

      I've really got to stop writing about this topic. It's not healthy.

      •  Oh, I think that at least one case... (0+ / 0-)

        ...should not have resulted in discharge.

        Synopsis: During consensual horseplay between SSgt Matteson and his female subordinate at her house, SSgt Matteson sexually assaulted her.
        We don't know the details, but I have to wonder where the boundary between "consensual horseplay" and "sexual assault" was set.

        This is not "blaming the victim," but rather suggesting that in a already poisoned environment (NCO at a subordinate's house?  "Consensual horseplay"?), the lines are not as brightly drawn as we might wish.

        The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

        by wesmorgan1 on Thu Sep 19, 2013 at 09:04:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't this all the more reason he should have been (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          discharged? Talk about poor judgement. He was her boss.

          And I question the 'consensual horseplay.' What does that even mean? Who determined it was consensual? The judges? The jury? The lawyers? The subordinate?

          These cases just reveal that our society has a lot of issues to deal with.

          •  This goes back to my earlier comments... (0+ / 0-)

            ...about cases in which both parties violate the UCMJ.

            Let me reiterate that we don't know all the aspects of this case; we're working from a one-sentence synopsis...what I'm about to say speaks to the general case, not these specific individuals.

            Cases like this are borderline because, in the absence of eyewitnesses or other evidence, it's very easy for a party who has willingly violated regs (or the UCMJ directly) to cause the weight of the military justice system to fall more heavily on the other violator.

            [ WARNING: Explicit language ahead... ]

            Now, here's where things get difficult for a jury:

            1) To press charges of "aggravated sexual assault", a "sexual act" must be involved.  Here's the UCMJ/MCM definition::

            (1 ) Sexual act. The term “sexual act ” means—

            (A) contact between the penis and the vulva , and for purposes of this subparagraph contact involving the penis occurs upon penetration, however slight; or

            (B) the penetration, however slight, of the genital opening of another by a hand or finger or by any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

            Now, item (A) is clear-cut, but item (B) lends itself to a comparison with civilians would call "third base" or "heavy petting" and is less clear-cut where intent is concerned.

            2) Now, here's the definition of "aggravated sexual assault":

            (c) Aggravated sexual assault. Any person subject to this chapter who—
               (1) causes another person of any age to engage in a sexual act by—
                  (A) threatening or placing that other person in fear (other than by threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping); or
                  (B) causing bodily harm; or
               (2) engages in a sexual act with another person of any age if that other person is substantially incapacitated or substantially incapable of—
                  (A) appraising the nature of the sexual act;
                  (B) declining participation in the sexual act; or
                  (C) communicating unwillingness to engage in the sexual act;

            is guilty of aggravated sexual assault and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

            Now, you're asking a military jury to decide, based (in some cases) on nothing more than the testimony of two people who have BOTH already violated military law/regulation, where "consensual horseplay" (which, in this case, was a willing violation of regulations/UCMJ by both parties) became a "sexual act" compelled via threat.

            I think that, in cases such as these, there has to be some leeway in both conviction and sentencing.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 10:56:32 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Because if she is in your room or home, then she (0+ / 0-)

          has implied consent?

          Because if she laughs at your jokes or shares food and drink with you, then she implied consent?

          Because if she doesn't call you on the carpet "boss" for smaller, awkward transgressions, then she implied consent?

          A person of higher rank makes a move for you, embraces you in an awkward moment, kisses you, and you freeze up, because well---It's your boss. Holy fuck what do you do now. In his world, because you didn't respond to him with violence, --why that means you are game.

          You didn't freak out-- so that means yes. Or maybe you did violently resist, but you are 5'4 and he is 6'2 and he didn't notice--still an implied yes.

          The entire way in which we pursue sex as a culture needs a paradigm shift for starters. And bosses need to learn that boundaries are there for a reason. No screwing people in your chain of command. That is bad and shows not only poor judgement but a lack of boundaries.

          If he really had feelings for her, he would have respected that, and waited til they were in different commands.

          Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

          by GreenMother on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 07:04:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No argument with anything you said... (0+ / 0-)

            ...but the few facts we know about this case don't match most of what you suggested.

            a) This incident occured at the female subordinate's home.
            b) The female subordinate (apparently) allowed the NCO into her home.
            c) The female subordinate willingly engaged in "consensual horseplay" - whatever the heck THAT might be.
            d) At some point, whether at the time of the incident or later, the female subordinate alleged that the "consensual horseplay" led to sexual assault.

            Yes, the bigger crime was the NCO's.  No NCO/officer worth their salt should EVER be alone with a subordinate of the opposite sex, much less alone in a private residence.

            That doesn't obviate the apparent fact that the female subordinate was willing to violate the regs/UCMJ...up to a point.  That necessarily introduces credibility issues for both parties when it comes to a jury deciding what appears to be a murky "he said/she said" matter like this.

            It should be noted that, while they convicted the NCO of sexual assault, the reduction in rank to E-3 removes him from any leadership position for the foreseaable future.  (It's almost a certainty that he'll never see NCO rank again; no promotion board will selected an enlisted man with a sexual assault conviction.)  That removes a big chunk of leverage by ensuring that he has no subordinates against whom to use authority as a fear tactic.  I think that combination of conviction and sentence acknowledges his abuse of authority without going all the way to a BCD/DD in a murky case.

            The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

            by wesmorgan1 on Fri Sep 20, 2013 at 11:48:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And her? Lets see if I can remember how this goes (0+ / 0-)

              She will always be blamed by people who liked him, for ruining his career, for speaking up--no matter the circumstances.

              It could be murky or it could be he has friends with influence. Politics is still politics in the service. Obviously, she ain't no senators son.

              Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

              by GreenMother on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 06:46:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You think a CONVICTION shows favoritism? (0+ / 0-)

                So, your argument is:

                * He may have had "friends with influence".
                * Those "friends" didn't affect the Article 32 preliminary hearing.
                * Those "friends" didn't affect the convening authority's decision to proceed with court martial.
                * Those "friends" didn't affect the court-martial.
                * Those "friends" didn't affect the guilty verdict.
                * Those "friends" could have affected the sentence.
                * Those "friends" didn't affect the convening authority's decision to accept the results of the court martial.
                That seems a bit...far-fetched.

                There's no question that favoritism exists; If you want to argue that LTG Franklin's dismissal of LTC WIlkerson's court-martial conviction for sexual assault reeks to high heaven, you won't get one whit of disagreement from me.  To suggest that, in this case, "friends with influence" would successfully interfere with his sentencing, but not any other part of the process, makes no sense.  

                She will always be blamed by people who liked him, for ruining his career, for speaking up--no matter the circumstances.
                He's one of tens of thousands of E-5s (The AF has promoted 24,000+ airmen to SSgt in the last two years alone) and may well have been serving his very first hitch (average time-in-service for promotion to E-5 is currently 4.5 years); just how widely known do you think he is?  How wide a "circle of friends" do you think this one SSgt/E-5 has among the 65,000 officers and 260,000 enlisted members of the Air Force?  If we were talking about a senior NCO or senior officer with the connections accumulated over 15-20 years of service, I would readily acknowledge the possibility of such a thing; in the case of an E-5 with as few as 5 years in service, the suggestion borders on the ridiculous.

                Now, what she will face is (in all likelihood) a reprimand or UCMJ action in her record for fraternization - but that's as it should be.  There is no question that she willingly violated the regs.

                It seems that you're unwilling to accept any penalty for any conviction other than a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge at face value, no matter the circumstances of the individual case - is that an accurate statement of your position?

                The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

                by wesmorgan1 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:44:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Knowing the history of the military in these (0+ / 0-)

                  matters--why yes, I am very suspicious of cases like this. Funny how that works.

                  The military will have to get it right for years, --as in decades, before I consider this a sign of any serious change.

                  Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                  by GreenMother on Sun Sep 22, 2013 at 04:59:44 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  rape remains a cultural problem; the military (0+ / 0-)

    as a culture seems to have more of a problem understanding why rape should be seen as a problem.

    I was struck by a recent news report on a 17 year old male locally who was arrested for sex with a female less than 14 years old (rumors were the female was 12).  His mother was interviewed and her comment was:
    "why do you keep saying it was rape?  She said 'yes'".  What chance do our sons have to understand what rape is when their parents still don't get it?  

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