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News > Commentary - Attention all Airmen: Air Force holds sexual assault offenders accountable; convictions online
Attention all Airmen: Air Force holds sexual assault offenders accountable; convictions online

Posted 1/24/2014   Updated 1/24/2014 Email story   Print story

    


Commentary by Col. Trent H. Edwards
42nd Air Base Wing commander


1/24/2014 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- You should know that the Air Force now publishes sexual assault convictions online. Anyone can go to this website and review more than 100 sexual assault convictions from across the Air Force, to include viewing them by base. After a few minutes of reviewing the facts of these cases, you will soon see many cases are very similar. They involve:

1) the use of alcohol;
2) the absence of personal respect for the victim; and
3) the absence of the victims' consent.

You will also quickly see that Airmen who are convicted of sexual assault can be held accountable by military judges and court-martial panels with punishments that often include jail time, rank reductions and punitive discharges.

A number of these cases involve Airmen assaulting fellow Airmen. Many times, these victims were co-workers and former friends - people who trusted their assailant. The offenders elected to violate that trust and were punished accordingly. As required by many state laws, convicted Airmen must also register in their jurisdiction's sexual assault registry. These sex offender lists include the names and addresses of convicted sex offenders and are publicly available on-line.

Effective three months ago, Airmen who commit a sexual assault will have administrative discharge proceedings initiated against them and may be retained only if they meet a cumulative multi-part test. For Airmen at this base, only the Commander, Air University, can waive this requirement and only after concluding that the Airman meets the same multi-part retention test.

I encourage all Airmen to visit the below website and review the facts of the cases, which resulted in these Airmen being convicted of sexual offenses. Then educate and warn fellow Airmen about the consequences of committing these crimes. When you see a situation that isn't right, be a good wingman; intervene and insist your fellow Airman treat others with respect. You will regret being a passive bystander when a few words of intervention can forever positively change the lives of Airmen around you.

Now go visit the website: http://www.afjag.af.mil/sexualassaultprosecution/index.asp.



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