We always take it for granted that our military service members are people of the highest integrity, especially senior officers. An officer has the fates of the men under his command, and he must have their trust or else morale suffers.
So when an officer is convicted by a military court of rape, conduct unbecoming an officer and other such crimes, it is a very serious thing that leaves a black mark on the reputation of the military as a whole.
An Air Force Lt. Col. named Humphrey Daniels III was discharged from the service and sentenced to 3 years in prison for rape, mishandling of classified materials, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. He is now appealing the decision.
The Daily Caller reported:
Air Force Lt. Col. Humphrey Daniels III has been kicked out of the service and sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to rape.
Daniels was convicted of raping an unidentified civilian in 1998 near Minot, N.D., which constitutes a violation of Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Air Force Times reports.
But the eight-officer panel convicted Daniels of much more than rape. He also pleaded guilty to taking classified materials back to his house and also to conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman when he lied to police in Fairfax County, Va., in late 2014. Those lies consisted of claiming he did not enter a person’s backyard and saying he was not allowed to hand over his official email address to detectives, among other charges.
When Daniels brought the classified material home, he left it unattended.
Another specification of conduct unbecoming occurred when he misrepresented the reason why he needed emergency leave.
Air Force District of Washington spokesman Lt. Col. Brus Vidal told Air Force Times that Daniels will be confined and dismissed, but not reduced in rank, as that punishment does not apply to officers.
Since Daniels will be kicked out of the service, he won’t receive any retirement benefits, assuming the dismissal is upheld upon appeal.
Daniels’ lawyer, Andrew Cherkasky, said there are plans for an appeal, adding that Daniels is “overwhelmingly disappointed by the verdict” and maintains that he is innocent.
“Lt. Col. Daniels has great respect for the military justice system, but in this case, he feels strongly that a miscarriage of justice has occurred,” Cherkasky said.
Whatever ultimately results from Daniels’ conviction, we have faith that the decision will be fair in the end. We must trust that the senior officers that decided the case had good reason for reaching the conclusions they did and that removing a bad apple from the service was their only recourse.
Source: The Daily Caller