McClatchy Newspapers reports:
The Marine Corps commandant’s uncompromising talk against sexual assault looked like unlawful command influence, a military appeals court said Thursday, as it overturned a Parris Island enlisted man’s conviction on sexual assault charges.
The high-profile ruling by the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals frees former Staff Sgt. Steve Howell. The ruling also casts stark light on the unforeseen consequences that have ensued from high-level Pentagon and congressional attention to the problem of sexual assault in the military.
“We’re ecstatic,” Howell’s attorney, C. Edward Massey, said in an interview Thursday. “I think this was the right thing to do.”