The trial of a military leader who is accused of sexual assault has been delayed after the prosecution suffered several serious setbacks. The U.S. Army General, age 51, is accused of sex crimes including forcible sodomy, according to news reports. A judge in the case has stymied the prosecution’s case, however, by deciding that political justification had been unlawfully used to court-martial the man. The sexual assault charges have not been dismissed.
The alleged victim in the case gave tearful testimony in early March, explaining how the man supposedly forced her to perform oral sex on him. She claims that she had been engaged in a three-year-long physical affair with the man. He is accused of groping the woman’s genital region and having sexual relations with her in public places. Further, she contended that the Army general said he would kill her if she disclosed information about their relationship. The man was dismissed from an overseas command in 2012 because of the allegations.
Authorities say that the man could be sentenced to life in prison in connection with the charges. However, there is a plea on the table that would allow the man to plead guilty to lesser sex crimes in exchange for dismissal of the most serious allegations. A plea had already been entered in early March, but new developments in the case will lead to the withdrawal of that plea. The defense and prosecution have now begun to rethink their strategies, and the case could be delayed for several weeks.
The defendant in this case has won at least a small victory against the prosecution, as a judge has decided that politics played a role in the decision to try him for certain crimes. Every American has the right to an unbiased criminal proceeding. Criminal defense attorneys in North Carolina may be able to protect defendants’ rights in the courtroom, preventing unfair decisions that contradict the purpose of the American justice system.
Source: Chicago Tribune, “U.S. Army general’s accuser gives tearful account of alleged sex crimes” Colleen Jenkins, Reuters, Mar. 07, 2014