Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose life and wrongful conviction are chronicled in my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, needs one of two things to happen — and soon — so that he can clear his name and reputation.
Stewart would be pleased if the Army Court of Criminal Appeals that heard his appeal April 19 exonerated him completely or if they granted him a new trial. And if you think the latter doesn’t sound appealing to Stewart, I can tell you you’re wrong. After all, the likelihood that a second court-martial panel might reach the same guilty verdict as the first one did in German during three days in August 2009 is incredibly slim. Case observers expect some kind of result by mid-July — possibly sooner, possibly later.
Stewart would also be pleased if his accuser came forward and admitted that she made up the sordid tale of sexual assault that lead to Stewart being convicted on several charges and sent to the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Such a move by the young woman, now in her early 30s would not be unprecedented.
According to this article, published today, the kidnap-rape conviction of Brian Banks, a once-promising prep football star in Southern California, was dismissed Thursday following a recantation by his accuser ten years after she had turned his world upside down.
Details about all of the events leading up to and following Stewart’s court-martial can be found in the book, Three Days In August. It’s available in paperback and ebook via most online booksellers, including Amazon.com.
UPDATE 5/31/12 at 8:53 a.m. Central: According to an ESPN report, Banks is being offered tryouts by several NFL teams. A second chance. The kind of second chance Stewart deserves.