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News > Sexual assault convictions are now online
Sexual assault convictions are now online

Posted 10/31/2013   Updated 11/1/2013 Email story   Print story

    


by Colonel Lester A. Weilacher

10/31/2013 - HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  -- As you may have recently heard, the Air Force now publishes sexual assault convictions on-line. Anyone can go to this website and review more than 100 sexual assault convictions from across the Air Force, to include viewing them by base.
 
After a few minutes of reviewing the facts of these cases, you will soon see many cases are very similar - they involve: 1) the use of alcohol, 2) the absence of personal respect for the victim and 3) the absence of the victims' consent. You will quickly see that Airmen, who are convicted of sexual assault, can be held accountable with punishments that often include jail time, rank reductions and punitive discharges. Also, effective two months ago, Airmen who commit a sexual assault will have administrative discharge proceedings initiated against them and may be retained only if they meet a cumulative, multi-part test.

A number of these cases involve Airmen assaulting fellow Airmen. Many times these victims were co-workers and former friends - people who trusted their assailant. The offenders elected to violate that trust and were punished accordingly. As required by many state laws, convicted Airmen must also register in their jurisdiction's sexual assault registry. These sex offender lists include the names and addresses of convicted sex offenders and are publicly available on-line.

To be clear, each case must be resolved on its own facts. The information on the Air Force website is not intended to send a message on what I expect as outcomes in sexual assault cases. There are no expected or required dispositions, outcomes, or sentences. Those who exercise discretionary authority in the military justice process will exercise their own independent judgment, consistent with applicable law and regulation.

I encourage all Airmen to visit the website and review the facts of the cases, which resulted in these Airmen being convicted of sexual offenses. Then educate and warn fellow Airmen about the consequences of committing these crimes. When you see a situation that isn't right, be a good wingman; intervene, and insist your fellow Airman treat others with respect. Don't be a passive bystander when a few words of intervention can forever positively change the lives of Airmen around you.

The website can be accessed at the following link: http://www.afjag.af.mil/sexualassaultprosecution/index.asp.



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