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McCaskill 'Outraged,' Organizing Petition Over Air Force Sexual Assault Decision

The F-16 (Photo credit: The National Guard, via flickr)

McCaskill is organizing an online petition which she says she’ll take to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force.

At issue is an Air Force Lt. Colonel, James Wilkerson, who was found guilty of sexual assault in November by a jury of his peers in a court-martial. The case took an unusual turn when one commander, Lt. General Craig Franklin, overturned the ruling and reinstated Wilkerson to full-duty status into the Air Force.

In an email, McCaskill asked what message this sends to women who suffer sexual assault in the Air Force.

Mccaskill sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee. She wrote in that same email that if she doesn’t get the response she thinks this case deserves, she might introduce a bill “to strip military commanders of their authority to overturn verdicts.”

According to the Stars and Stripes newspaper, a publication of the Department of Defense, Franklin is a F-16 pilot and the 31st Fighter Wing inspector general at Aviano Air Base, Italy.

Although Franklin has been taken off a promotion list, the paper reports, he can still apply to have that changed, too, if he thinks that decision was made in error.

For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.