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STATEMENT: Commander who overturned sexual assault conviction in Aviano Scandal removed by Air Force from another case after deciding not to court martial airman accused of rape

Posted by POD Staff, December 18th, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 18, 2013
Contact: Brian Purchia, , brian@protectourdefenders.com

*** STATEMENT ***

COMMANDER WHO OVERTURNED SEXUAL ASSAULT CONVICTION IN AVIANO SCANDAL REMOVED BY AIR FORCE FROM ANOTHER CASE AFTER DECIDING NOT TO COURT MARTIAL AIRMAN ACCUSED OF RAPE

 Protect Our Defenders renews call for removal of Lieutenant General Craig Franklin after Stars and Stripes breaks story

 Washington DC – Today, the Air Force announced that Lt. General Craig Fraklin decided not to seek a court-martial in another sexual assault case at Aviano Air Base in Italy. Stars & Stripes broke the news of Franklin being removed from the case.

Protect Our Defenders President Nancy Parrish released the following statement:

“Military leadership has supported Lt. General Craig Franklin for far too long. He should be removed from the Air Force immediately. Franklin’s ongoing actions are only the tip of the iceberg. He is but one high profile example of a problem that pervades a biased and unprofessional military justice system.

“For months we have called on the Secretary of Defense and the President to take action against Franklin. In this most recent case, Franklin, the Convening Authority, against the recommendation of the wing (base) commander and without even speaking to the victim, refused to allow the case to move forward to trial.

“Our service members deserve an independent and impartial justice system equal to the system afforded to the civilians they protect. It is time for Sec. Hagel and President Obama to back up their claims of ‘zero tolerance’ and having ‘victims’ backs’ and remove Franklin.

“As Franklin’s flawed judgment clearly shows, professional military prosecutors, not the accused’s commander, should decide whether to move forward to trial. And, commanders should no longer be allowed to over ride the decisions of military juries.

“The Aviano victims, their families and so many others have been forced to pay a heavy price for the failures of this Congress and this President to provide our service members with an unbiased, professional military justice system. Franklin and his biased actions are but a highly visible example of why over 90% of the estimated 26,000 victims in 2012 never reported their attacks. We have a system where one conflicted and often biased individual, the accused’s commander, has the authority to exercise their unilateral opinion, regardless of the evidence, on whether a case is objectively investigated and tried, and whether the perpetrator receives just punishment.”

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Stars and Stripes: Air Force removes Lt. Gen. Franklin from sexual assault case

http://www.stripes.com/news/air-force-removes-lt-gen-franklin-from-sexual-assault-case-1.258268

Air Force Times: Wilkerson: Demotion, ouster politically motivated

http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20131018/NEWS/310180012/Wilkerson-Demotion-ouster-politically-motivated

Air Force Officer At Center Of Sexual Assault Controversy Demoted And Forced Into Retirement

http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Air-Force-Officer-At-Center-Of-Sexual-Assault-4905873.php

Protect Our Defenders Point by Point Rebuttal of Gen Franklin’s 18 Reasons for Overturning Col Wilkerson’s Sexual Assault Conviction

http://www.protectourdefenders.com/point-by-point-rebuttal-of-gen-franklins-18-reasons-for-overturning-col-wilkersons-sexual-assault-conviction/

Protect Our Defenders petition Calling on President Obama and Sec. Hagel to Remove Lt. Gen. Franklin and Lt. Col. Wilkerson: http://www.causes.com/aviano

An Open Letter to Secretary Hagel from Protect Our Defenders President Nancy Parrish

http://www.protectourdefenders.com/an-open-letter-to-secretary-hagel-from-protect-our-defenders-president-nancy-parrish/

Stars & Stripes: Wilkerson had affair that produced a child, Air Force confirms

http://www.stripes.com/news/us/wilkerson-had-affair-that-produced-a-child-air-force-confirms-1.225660

Military Times: Sex assault clemency surprised prosecutor

http://www.navytimes.com/article/20130422/NEWS/304220007/Sex-assault-clemency-surprised-prosecutor

Stars & Stripes: Emails show general warned against reversing Wilkerson verdict

http://www.stripes.com/news/emails-show-general-warned-against-reversing-wilkerson-verdict-1.238114

Associated Press: Air Force Officer Transfer Draws Protest

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/air-forces-officer-transfer-draws-ariz-protest

   
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