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Former Airman asks federal court to review sexual assault conviction

Scales of Justice (Allen Allen/Flickr)

A former U.S. Air Force major filed a memorandum asking the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals to review his 2015 conviction for sexual assault.

The motion was filed in federal court Oct. 6 by Clarence Anderson, who was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in 2015 when he was charged with and convicted of sexual assault of his then-wife.

He served 42 months on jail and was dismissed from the U.S. Air Force.

The memorandum asks the court to institute a new trial, and restore his rank as major, citing that evidence which would have exonerated him was ignored. That evidence was a recording of a phone call.

Anderson submitted to a general court martial, and was convicted in a three-day trial before a judge, court records state. The recording was submitted to the court martial by Anderson six times, according to the memorandum.

Fairness barriers in military sexual assault cases

In 2016, members of the Judicial Proceedings Panel Subcommittee investigated barriers to the fairness of sexual assault cases within the United States military.

The report was released in May 2017 and lists a lack of written guidelines to determine if a case should be referred to a court martial; the perception of public pressure to refer all sexual assault cases to trial; some legal counsel were unable to get into contact with alleged victims to prepare them for trial and the expedited transfer of alleged victims can make getting into contact with victims challenging as issues within the system.

It also provides nine recommendations for the military justice system. The recommendations include the military review its preliminary hearing processes, that charges be supported by probably cause including proving allegations beyond a reasonable doubt using only evidence that is admissible during trial and training be provided to allow full access to prosecutors prior to courts martial.


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