Franklin Reportedly Moved from Assault Case

Third Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin has come under fire once again for declining to pursue a court-martial in an alleged sexual assault case at Aviano AB, Italy. Earlier this year, Franklin dismissed a sexual assault conviction of the former inspector general of Aviano’s 31st Fighter Wing, kick-starting a heated, and on-going, debate over potential changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Air Force leaders now are second-guessing Franklin’s decision and have turned the case over to another commander to reconsider, reported Stars and Stripes. The new case centers around a staff sergeant who reported a subordinate had raped her. Following the Article 32 hearing, the case’s hearing officer recommended against court-martialing the suspected airman, and Franklin’s legal adviser reportedly agreed with the general’s ultimate decision not to pursue the matter, according to the article. Since then, however, USAF leadership has decided the case should be reinvestigated. An unnamed JB Andrews, Md., commander has reviewed the new case and preferred charges against the airman, citing irregularities, such as Franklin not consulting with the accuser before deciding to drop charges despite a written request to do so, in the original case. The new Article 32 hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8.