Officer Becomes Poster Child for Navy’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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.

From left, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy Rick D. West and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Jonathan Greenert listen as Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus speaks during an all hands call aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD 5) March 5, 2012, at Naval Station Norfolk, Va. Sexual assault was one of the topics during the session. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released)

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.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

One thought on “Officer Becomes Poster Child for Navy’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month

  1. As a concerned citizen and parent of a 24 year old soldier whose court Marshal is scheduled to take place mid November in Germany as a result of a one night stand with a German woman, my heart and prayers go out to those soldiers who serve our country but yet are not given a fundamental right they so earnestly fought to protect.

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