Under Fire

The Air Force has come under fire from lawmakers over its latest controversy related to sexual misconduct. The backlash stems from a late-February decision by 3rd Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin to overturn the conviction of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, former 31st Fighter Wing inspector general at Aviano AB, Italy. A military jury last November found Wilkerson guilty of Uniform Code of Military Justice violations, including abusive sexual contact and aggravated sexual assault against a female civilian base employee. However, Franklin overturned the conviction after ruling there was not enough evidence. Article 60 of the UCMJ gives Franklin the right as convening authority for the court-martial to overrule the court. But his decision has infuriated both Republicans and Democrats in Congress who contend that it sets bad precedence and will discourage victims of sexual assault from coming forward. Click here to continue to the full report.