While reading a WRAL.com article today, I couldn’t help but notice similarities between the sexual assault prosecutions of Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair and Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose wrongful conviction is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.
One example can be found in the three paragraphs that follow an explanation of how the military judge in the case decided to prosecute despite a recommendation from the lead prosecutor that General Sinclair’s plea to a charge of adultery be accepted. The example begins in paragraph four as follows:
The defense contends that the captain, who served with Sinclair in Iraq and Afghanistan, committed perjury in a January hearing about finding text messages form Sinclair on an old cellphone, making her a poor witness on which to build a case against the general.
The captain said in the January hearing that she came across the old phone in December and charged it up to see if there was anything on it that would affect Sinclair’s court-martial. A defense forensics expert contradicted her testimony, saying she had turned the phone on several times in the months before she said she found it packed in a box.
The defense argues in the motion that the Army continues to press the case only to support a get-tough policy against sex assault in the military.
Notice the word, perjury, and how a forensics expert proved it? Apparently, perjury by a female in a military sexual assault case isn’t cause for concern.
In the case of Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran, several instances of perjury surfaced during and after his court-martial.
Two that surfaced during the trial involved a German police detective and a taxi driver whose memory issues are highlighted in the article, German Police Detective Has Memory Issues Like Accuser.
One arose during the pre-sentencing phase and involved the accuser offering a strange definition of “contact.”
Yet another was brought to the court’s attention by a long-time friend of the accuser who made a post-trial statement that should have netted Stewart a new trial.
I, for one, can’t wait to read the trial transcript if or when General Sinclair’s case reaches the trial phase. Why? Because I suspect it will be as chock full of half-truths, lies and innuendo as Stewart’s trial was as the War on Men in the Military continues.
UPDATE 3/16/2014 at 8:11 p.m. Central: Sexual assault charges dropped against general after case tainted by political influence.