Controversial Air Force general pulled from role in new rape case

Dec. 19, 2013 at 11:28 AM
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RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- The Air Force general whose dismissal of a rape conviction angered members of Congress has been removed from involvement in another assault case, officials say.

The decision by top Air Force officials to pull Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin came after he decided against pursuing a court-martial in a recent sexual assault case, Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.

Franklin, commander of the Third Air Force, in August declined to prosecute an airman based in Aviano, Italy, whom a staff sergeant had accused of raping her following an evening of drinking and dancing.

The airman said the sex had been consensual.

Franklin decided not to take the charges to court-martial based on a recommendation by the case hearing officer. Franklin's legal adviser agreed with the decision.

Air Force officials assigned another general to review the decision because of Franklin's decision in February to reverse the conviction of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson for sexual assault.

His action caused Congress to strip commanders of the ability to overturn jury verdicts.

Maj. Gen. Sharon K.G. Dunbar reviewed the August case and decided to bring charges against the airman. A hearing is scheduled for late January at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

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