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Marine colonel out of prison; child sex abuse case overturned

A judge advocate office gavel. (Staff Sgt. Alexandra M. Boutte/U.S. Air Force)

A Marine colonel whose conviction for sexual abuse of a child was overturned has now been released from prison and is awaiting a decision about his retirement request.

Col. Daniel H. Wilson, of Mason, Washington, who was assigned to the II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, was found guilty of the sexual abuse of a child; six counts of conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman; and absence without leave in September of 2017, The Daily News reported. Wilson was sentenced at that time to more than five years confinement and dismissed from service.

The United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals overturned his conviction on the child sexual abuse charge in July, The Daily News reported, and Wilson was released from the brig Oct. 18 and is now on leave status awaiting administrative separation, according to Marine Corps Headquarters.

The action is the latest in the case.

The July decision of the military appeals court did not reverse the other convictions.

The court ordered a re-sentencing hearing on the remaining offenses. The conduct unbecoming of an officer and gentleman is connected to offenses for a number of crude and inappropriate actions while on active duty at or near Darwin, Australia, The Daily News reported.

Wilson’s case was returned to II Marine Expeditionary Force, the original convening authority. The II MEF commanding general signed the re-hearing order Sept. 27 and a 7-day review was conducted in accordance with the Rule for Courts-Martial on Oct. 2, according Marine Corps Headquarters.

Capt. Karoline Foote, a Communication Strategy & Operations Officer at Communications Directorate, said as a result of the review hearing Wilson remained in pre-sentencing confinement at Camp Pendleton brig until Oct. 18, when a pre-sentencing agreement was signed.

The agreement is in lieu of the sentence re-hearing on the remaining convictions.

“The convening authority agreed that on the date of the Secretary of the Navy’s final approval of Wilson’s retirement request, in lieu of a sentence rehearing, the convening authority will approve “no punishment” on Wilson’s General Court-Martial. This action is in compliance with authorized dispositions provided in the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals opinion. Wilson will have a federal conviction on his record; he will stand convicted at a General Court-Martial of six specifications under Article 133, UCMJ, and one specification under Article 86, UCMJ. These convictions were previously affirmed by the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals,” Foote wrote in an email response to The Daily News.

Wilson submitted a voluntary request for retirement and is awaiting a decision from the Secretary of the Navy. If the Secretary of Navy approves the request, he will determine the characterization and rank in which Wilson is authorized to retire.

On Oct. 4, the Victim’s Legal Counsel for the minor victim in the child sexual abuse charge submitted a request to the Judge Advocate General for certification of the case to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces to consider whether the “court of criminal appeals erred by overturning a conviction for factual insufficiency based on an unrealistic standard of proof for child sexual abuse.”

The Judge Advocate General declined to certify the case to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.


© 2019 The Daily News