Department of Defense, U.S. Air Force

Lt. Col James Wilkerson, convicted of sexual assault, is assigned to victim’s hometown

By Panayiota Bertzikis.

In November 2012 military jury convicted Air Force Lt. Col James Wilkerson, a former inspector general at Aviano Air Base in Italy, of sexually assaulting a civilian contractor.  After being found guilty by a jury of five; four colonels and a lieutenant colonel, he was sentenced  to a year in jail, forfeiture of all pay and discharged from the service.

Three months later, in February 2013 Gen. Craig Franklin overturned the conviction. To further add insult, Gen. Franklin also placed Wilkerson on a promotion list. The general “was looking for a way to show the pilot community he had their backs” — wrote The New York Times.

According to Article 60 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the legal basis of the military’s justice system, allows a “convening authority” — a commander reviewing the case — “absolute power to disapprove the findings and sentence, or any part thereof, for any or no reason, legal or otherwise.”

Instead of serving his prison sentence, Lt. Col Wilkerson will be transferred to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson assigned as the 12th Air Force Chief of Flight Safety to help run the safety program for a unit of F-16 fighters. Even though Lt. Col. Wilkerson was found guilty of sexual assault, he will not be required to be registered as a sex offender.  The guilty verdict has been completely erased from his record, and  this convicted sex offender is able to continue serving as if nothing has  happened putting others at risk. Adding insult to injury, the U.S Air Force plans on transferring a man found guilty for rape to the hometown of the victim.

 

7 thoughts on “Lt. Col James Wilkerson, convicted of sexual assault, is assigned to victim’s hometown”

  1. Article 60 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice is total BS and General Craig Franklin should be demoted or discharged or whatever for his BS.

  2. A reveiw should be done on Gen. Craig Franklin, wonder how many men and women he has hurt. I just wonder, don’t you. Wilkerson will get his they all do sooner or later. Article 60?, right.

  3. I was one when in a resturaunt would pick up the tab for a military guy….Never again!!! As long as the military brass wants to cover for the “pigs” of the military then, I guess they all have to suffer.cuz we don’t know who are
    the rapist and who isn’t. I will however support the female soldiers any way possible.

  4. Had the pleasure of meeting Ms. Bertzikis today, and exchanged thoughts on this subject.

    As an Air Force veteran, I find insulting that the Air Force and the Department of Defense cover up for these crimes like it’s nothing important. These events affect individual and troop morale and make people lose respect in our military branches.

    Me, like Aggie, will support any effort made to improve the morale of military women as much as I can.

    1. Angie so happy you are getting some form of justice…still the punishment is wayyyy to light…. he should of got a very minimal of 5 years plus all that he did get. I wish you the best in the coming years…God Bless You!!!

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