FORT HOOD — A judge said he plans to recommend that a soldier’s sexual assault conviction be overturned.

During the sentencing phase of the court-martial of Pfc. Thomas A. Chestnut Jr. on Wednesday, Col. Gregory Gross, the judge in the case, said he researched how to overturn the conviction himself, but he can’t.

Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here. You can contact Rose L. Thayer at rthayer@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary.

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Rose L. Thayer is the military editor for the Killeen Daily Herald. She joined the paper in February 2011 as a health and military reporter. View her complete profile Here.

(3) comments

overseer

I have to ask this question in fairness - if it were a male that was on trial for having intercourse with a female soldier that he did not realize was on under the influence of this particular drug, would the same judge be trying just as hard to exonerate him as well. Or, and this question has to be asked, is the judge trying so hard because it is a same-sex case? With the current government pushing for open integration as hard as they have been, is the judge, the military and the government afraid this will shed light on some things they would rather keep in the dark? Maybe the answer is no but, it has to be asked.

mljucmj

Why did the defense not ask for, and the judge consider a ruling consistent with his power to dismiss after a members finding of guilt. I have used this in prior cases.
The authority is found in United States v. Griffiths, a Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces case found here.

The Court of Military Appeals has recently reiterated its position that, under certain circumstances, the MJ may set aside a finding of guilty after announcement. See United States v. Scaff, 29 M.J. 60 (C.M.A. 1989); United States v. Griffith, 27 M.J. 42 (C.M.A. 1988).

Bubba

Had the law been followed in the first place, the accused would not be on active duty, having the personal behavior traits he has. The victim would not then have been homosexually raped.

The accused was found guilty at trial and the punishment must be imposed.

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