Crime & Courts

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Soldier found guilty of rape, sodomy

Thursday, May 8, 2014 5:42 PM
Last updated 8:19 PM
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A soldier sent to Fort Gordon’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center to stand trial on charges of sexual assault, rape and sodomy was found guilty on all counts this week under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.

A military judge sentenced Pfc. Dustin L. Starner, 28, Tuesday to a reduction of rank to private, six years confinement in a military prison and a dishonorable discharge from the Army.

Starner was transferred to the Eisenhower Army Medical Center from Camp Shelby, Miss., where he held the position of health care specialist, for “legal processing” and was not involved in patient care at Fort Gordon, hospital spokesman Wes Elliott said.

No details were provided about the sexual assault, but the Fort Gordon hospital said in a news release the Army is committed to reducing and eliminating sexual crimes through its Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program.

“The SHARP program focuses on enhancing prevention, investigation, victim advocacy, assessment and accountability to encourage victims to come forward and to create a military culture free of sexual harassment or assault,” the release stated.

Last week, the Pentagon said reports of sexual assaults by members of the military jumped by an unprecedented 50 percent last year, in what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel declared a “clear threat” to both male and female service members’ lives and well-being.

Overall, there were 5,061 reports of sexual abuse filed in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, compared with 3,374 in 2012. About 10 percent of the 2013 reports involved incidents that occurred before the victims joined the military, up from just 4 percent in 2012.

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Darby
37755
Points
Darby 05/08/14 - 11:37 pm
3
4
Wondering

just how much of the "increase" is due to "cheer-leading" by those whose job security is enhanced by the increased statistics?

Bureaucracy at work. I mean really, a fifty percent increase. And it coincided so nicely with the sudden explosion of the "War on Women" doesn't it?

Sort of reminds one of the way Senator McCarthy was able to find all those communists in the Fifties don't you think?

Darby
37755
Points
Darby 05/08/14 - 11:38 pm
3
1
On the other hand......

If this guy really is actually guilty, I certainly hope that his sentence included a forfeiture of all pay and allowances.

No need for the taxpayer to carry any larger burden than necessary.

Graffique Sue
6
Points
Graffique Sue 05/09/14 - 12:18 am
2
0
If the soldier is really

If the soldier is really guilty I hope the right justice will be given and that the rape victim can have the justice she deserves. Such crime is not good and must never be tolerated. - Thaddeus Heffner

corgimom
49807
Points
corgimom 05/09/14 - 02:16 am
5
4
No, Darby, sexual assault in

No, Darby, sexual assault in the military has been a serious issue for many years, but women were afraid to report it, and when they did, it wasn't handled well.

Nobody files sexual assault reports because of "bureaucracy". It is a deeply traumatic, stressful experience, and nobody does it lightly. Reliving an event like that isn't done on a whim.

You can always tell by the posters' comments about rape who is a male and who is a female; the men just don't understand what's involved, and how most rapes never get reported.

bclicious
875
Points
bclicious 05/09/14 - 06:26 am
1
1
He gets paid all the way up until he is found guilty.

The infamous Major Nidal Hasan who shot all those people at Ft Hood was paid all the way up until his trial was over. Basically a quarter of a million dollars in salary.

http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Accused-Fort-Hood-Shooter-Paid-2780...

shamrock
585
Points
shamrock 05/09/14 - 09:14 am
2
0
Got Off Easy

Reduction in rank by only one grade, six years in prison and dishonorable discharge. A light sentence compared to the crime!

carcraft
34906
Points
carcraft 05/09/14 - 10:27 am
3
0
Who says the victim was

Who says the victim was female?

Jake
37642
Points
Jake 05/09/14 - 10:32 am
1
0
I'm with shamrock....

.....on this one. The sentence was light. Also, the assumption is being made that the victim is a female when it is entirely possible that it could be a male.

Mugatu
16
Points
Mugatu 05/10/14 - 11:14 am
0
0
Reason for sentence disparity

When a servicemember is tried at a court martial, the jury that determines guilt also awards sentence. Only Texas has jury sentencing - everywhere else in our country a judge imposes sentence. The jurors are officers, and in the case of an enlisted accused, up to 1/3 enlisted members. They have little experience in criminal justice, and the manner in which they vote on sentence requires the foreperson to take the recommended sentences from the members and call for a vote on them in order from the least severe to the most severe. The first sentence to receive a 2/3 majority becomes the awarded sentence. There are no mandatory minimums, so the punishment can actually be "no punishment," with the conviction itself being considered punishment enough. The military justice system is awash with problems, the biggest being the service's insistence on diversifying the experience of their JAGs, meaning they are jacks of all trades, and masters of none.

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