LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Simple solution to rape-case bias claim?
Susan Burke, a private lawyer representing the alleged victim in the Naval Academy rape case, just filed an action in federal court to have the admiral who appointed the Article 32 Uniform Code of Military Justice investigation removed owing to bias (“Naval Academy charges 3 football players with sexual assault in 2012 incident,” Web, June 19). The action claims that, among other things, the admiral did not make the hearing officer stop the abusive questioning of the alleged victim.
Ms. Burke and others claim the military legal system is unduly harsh on sex-crime victims. Well, here is a simple solution: Demand that the Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office bring charges against the three football players, because that is the county where the off-campus football house crime scene is located. State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess heads that office. It is not double jeopardy for both Maryland and the military to prosecute.
The grand jury hearing will be a cakewalk because only a state’s attorney will question the victim — and that might not even be necessary. An indictment is almost guaranteed, given that the burden of proof to indict is low. The trial will be before a civilian judge and jury.
WAYNE L. JOHNSON
Judge Advocate General’s Corps, U.S. Navy (retired)