Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Welsh, Sen. McCaskill to discuss Wilkerson case

Mar. 7, 2013 - 06:13PM   |   Last Updated: Mar. 7, 2013 - 06:13PM  |  

An influential senator who was outraged by the Third Air Forces commander's decision to overturn an Air Force lieutenant colonel's sex assault conviction will meet Tuesday with Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh.

Lt. Col. James Wilkerson had been sentenced to up to a year in prison and dismissal from the Air Force, but Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin set the conviction aside on Feb. 26, clearing the way for Wilkerson to be released from prison and return to active duty.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said she wants to meet with Welsh to review Franklin's decision. She has proposed Franklin be removed from his job, and said she is also considering introducing legislation that would remove clemency authority for commanders.

"I think it's time we take a hard look the rules of criminal justice within the military," McCaskill told Air Force Times. "As someone who spent a lot of time in the courtroom prosecuting rape, sodomy and sexual assault cases, I am offended that a jury — by the way, a jury selected by the same guy who decided to say never mind — convicts this man of sexual assault and then it is undone with the stroke of a pen."

The day after she meets with Welsh, the House Armed Services committee will hold a hearing on sexual assault in the military. McCaskill anticipates the Franklin decision will come up.

"I understand the latitude commanders need," she said. "On the other hand, we've got a pervasive problem of sexual assault in the military. The last thing we need to do is wipe a conviction clean in a way that looks arbitrary. That sends a signal to women who have been sexually assaulted in the military that only a fool would come forward and risk harm to their career and the psychological harm that comes with pursuing these cases."

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Air Force Times

This Week's Air Force Times

How to land a federal job
25 tips from insiders and experts

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook