Lt. Colonel James Wilkerson had been convicted by a jury of abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual assault, but Lt. General Craig Franklin used the little-invoked power of “convening authority” to overturn the decision, claiming insufficient evidence.
The Lieutenant General’s decision has warranted outrage from members of Congress. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) said “The military needs to understand that this could be a tipping point. I question whether, after this incident, there’s any chance a woman assaulted in that unit would ever say a word. … There’s a culture issue that’s going to have to be addressed here.”
Apparently in making this decision Franklin considered a “clemency package” of letters of support for the defendent, because we all know that someone whose friends say nice things about him couldn’t possibly rape anyone. All rapists are evil, soulless men in black masks who jump unsuspecting women in alleyways.
Anway, McCaskill and others are calling for an investigation by the Air Force Chief of Staff, so maybe this won’t be the end of the story.