Yesterday, I received a Facebook message from a woman who told me the condensed-version story of her husband — a Navy officer, loving father and veteran of multiple combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan — who became a poster child for the push to stem sexual assaults in the Navy.
By her account, his story rings similar to that of Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose life is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August.
While I’m not yet at liberty to disclose the names of the individuals involved, I can offer a few key details that this sailor’s wife — herself a Navy veteran — shared with me:
First, she said, senior Navy officials decide to press charges against her husband despite the fact that an Article 32 (i.e., preliminary) investigation produced a recommendation against sending her husband to face court-martial proceedings;
Second, she said, her husband was convicted of aggravated sexual assault against an enlisted female sailor even though she claimed she could not remember details about the series of events — including the alleged assault — that had taken place at and near a pub in Germany; and
Third, she said, the conviction came at the end of a week-long trial that took place on the heels of the Navy’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
Aside from the three points above, it’s important to note that this Navy officer’s wife isn’t simply out to free her husband from a jail cell; instead, she said, she wants to affect change in the military justice system so that people like here husband do not have their lives impacted in such a horrible way.
I’ll provide updates — about this case, about another career ruined, about another warrior behind bars — as I learn more.