Lt General Craig A. Franklin, a U.S. Air Force Commander, has overruled and tossed out a military court jury’s decision that found Lt. Colonel James Wilkerson guilty of sexually assaulting his subordinate, a woman service member who serves in the Air Force as a physician’s assistant. The assault occurred while the victim lay sleeping.“Franklin’s decision to set aside the verdict freed Wilkerson after four months in a South Carolina brig, erased his conviction and restored the F-16 pilot, who’d been selected for promotion, to full-duty status,” Stars and Stripes reported.
“Lt General Craig Franklin, commander of the Third Air Force based at Ramstein in Germany, exercised his discretion under the Uniform Code on Military Justice and concluded that the entire body of evidence was insufficient to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. As the ‘convening authority,’ Franklin, who did not interview the victim, was not required to provide further explanation for his ruling and his disposition is final,” the Guardian UK reports.