Senators Outraged by Dismissal of Assault Case
WASHINGTON - Senators are expressing outrage over an Air Force commander's decision to dismiss charges against a lieutenant colonel convicted of sexual assault.
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri questioned the top officer at U.S. Central Command during a hearing Tuesday. Sens. Barbara Boxer of California and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire have sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel about the case.
The Air Force Times reported last month that Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, a former inspector general at Aviano Air Base in Italy, had been convicted on charges of abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual assault. He was sentenced to a year in prison and dismissal from the service.
But Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin used his authority to dismiss the charges against Wilkerson, leading to his release.