Saturday, November 11, 2006

He labored long, and brought forth a mouse.

THE ELEPHANT LABORED LONG AND BROUGHT FORTH A MOUSE. On November 10, 2002 the Superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, Rear Admiral James Van Sice, formally approved the findings and sentence adjudged in the general court-martial of First Class Cadet Webster Smith. In the same week that American voters decided to throw some of the rascals out, it appears that Admiral Van Sice decided to throw out some old dogs in his office that had been gathering fleas. The biggest dog was the Convening Authority Action in the case of Webster Smith.
The Assistant Superintendent, Captain D. R. May, in his public announcement of the decision went on to say, “while this case has been a difficult ordeal for the Academy, it has also shown our resolve and commitment to our system of military justice, accountability and most important, our true embodiment of the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to duty. We will never waiver from our commitment to these precious values and will ensure that they are always present in all we do at the Academy”.
That kind of resolve is highly commendable. I only wish that it had been observed equally across the board. Instead they passed up eleven opportunities to demonstrate that resolve. They waited until they had something that was too good to pass up. That was an opportunity to give crime in Chase Hall a black face. In journalism, if it bleeds, it leads. Roundup the usual suspects and see if there are any minorities in the bunch. If the perpetrator is Black, put it on the front page.

This case has given America and the world an opportunity to understand the complex ethics and standards of judgment used by white senior military officers where sex and race are intertwined. The wisdom and judgment of men and women who confront, solve, and act on complex situations every day, degenerates to the basest of all human instincts when they see a Black man who is popular with and attractive to young white girls. Webster Smith has become the Billy Budd, Foretopman, of his generation. If Herman Melville had not written that story in 1891, I would wonder if he had used Webster Smith’s court-martial as the inspiration. It was required reading at the Academy when I was a cadet. I hope it still is. Doug Wisniewski is the perfect Master-at-Arms Claggart, and Van Sice is the perfect Captain Vere. Upon reading the decision of Admiral Van Sice, I am sure Webster Smith’s words were something akin to Billy Budd’s final words, “God Bless Admiral Van Sice”.

Blatant bigotry and racial intolerance do not exist at the Coast Guard Academy anymore, I am reasonably sure. What does exist are preconceived notions about race and ethnicity that shape decisions. A lack of racial sensitivity affected every decision of Captain Doug Wisniewski and Admiral Van Sice. The conventional wisdom was that no one would notice or even care if a Black cadet were sacrificed to make a point; a point that had needed to be made for a long time. An example had to be made. We had to reassure the parents that the system was ever vigilant and that the PROCESS works. In the Webster Smith case the spin, the bias, and the advance news leaks were orchestrated to maximize playing the Race Card. These officers were truly devoted to their Duty. They were not so much concerned about Honor or Respect.



Blogger ichbinalj said...

To all CGA Parents Association Members and the Coast Guard Community:

Nearly a year ago, The Academy informed you of sexual misconduct allegations involving a First Class Cadet. Over the past 10 months, the case progressed leading to a court-martial in early June of this year, the first for an Academy cadet in the history of CGA. The court-martial concluded in late June with the cadet being convicted on five charges (extortion, sodomy, indecent assault, attempted failure to obey a lawful order and unauthorized absence). The court-martial members adjudged six months confinement, forfeiture of all pay/allowances and dismissal from the service. I informed all of you of these results in early July but indicated there were still
several legal and administrative procedures that remained. I now want to
take this opportunity to once again reach out to you to inform you that the Academy’s role in the legal case has now been completed.

Today, the Superintendent of the Coast Guard Academy, Rear Admiral James C.
Van Sice, formally approved the findings and sentence adjudged in the general court-martial of First Class Cadet Webster M. Smith.

Under the rules for Courts-Martial, the officer convening a general court martial must “take action” on the sentence adjudged by the court but only after the transcript of the trial is authenticated by the military judge, the Staff Judge Advocate submits a written recommendation, and the service member has had an opportunity to respond to that recommendation. The service member may also submit any clemency request or material for consideration by the convening authority.

Convening Authority action essentially concludes the Coast Guard Academy’s involvement in the court-martial. Because the approved sentence included dismissal from the service, the case is automatically appealed to the Coast Guard Court of Criminal appeals. Cadet Smith is entitled to continued representation by appointed counsel as well as privately retained counsel if desired throughout the entire appellate process.

I recognize that this case has evoked many opinions and sentiments among all involved as well as the casual observer over this past 10 months. Many of you have expressed your views in various venues. All have been thought provoking and I’m sure motivated by your deep concern and dedication to the Academy, the Coast Guard, and the cause of justice. While this case has been a difficult ordeal for the Academy, it has also shown our resolve and commitment to our system of military justice, accountability and most important, our true embodiment of the Coast Guard’s core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to duty. We will never waiver from our commitment to these precious values and will ensure that they are always present in all we do at the Academy.

As many of you are also aware, a Task Force chartered by the Chief of Staff of the Coast Guard is currently assessing the overall organizational climate and character development programs at the Coast Guard Academy to determine the extent to which both promote academic excellence, reinforce our core values and prepare junior officers for our service. We are working very closely with this team and are committed to helping them in any way possible in accomplishing their goal. The Task Force will report its findings and recommendations in the coming months and the Academy and our service will be better served by that effort.
Meanwhile, our cadets continue to excel this fall in their academic, military leadership and athletic endeavors. Just this past week, we inducted 59 new 3rd class cadets into our Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society (which requires a 3.5 GPA during one of their 4th class semesters); a record number of inductees for the Academy and our fall sports season has been one of the best in decades. And in late October, the Corps of Cadets conducted a Review in honor of all of our Coast Guard War Veterans which was attended by several hundred honorees who were truly touched by the admiration and inspiration our cadets displayed for their service. Yes, we still have much work ahead, but we all remain committed to producing leaders of character who will graduate, excel in mission execution, and lead by example.
After nearly five months here now, I continue to remain extremely honored and privileged to be at this institution. I am constantly amazed at the unbelievable accomplishments of our cadets under the leadership of devoted faculty, staff and coaches; they truly are the future of our service and they clearly understand their role in continuing the remarkable traditions of the “long blue line”. As we support their growth and development, we owe it to them to remain strong and to never waiver from our service commitments. I thank you for your commitment as well, and for all the support you have, and continue to provide, the Academy. Semper Paratus!



Assistant Superintendent

U.S. Coast Guard Academy

5:26 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Former CGA Cadet To Serve Remainder Of Sentence. Webster Smith Convicted Of Sex Crime, Assault In June.
By Richard Rainey Published on 11/10/2006 in Region » Region News New London — After serving four months in prison for extorting sexual favors from a female classmate, former U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet Webster M. Smith learned Thursday he will have to serve the remaining two months of his sentence. Rear Adm. James C. Van Sice, the academy's superintendent and the convening authority in Smith's court-martial, found no fault with the trial or the verdict, according to a statement from the academy. Smith, 23, of Houston, Texas, has been serving time in a Navy brig since June 27, when he was convicted of extortion, sodomy and indecent assault after being cleared of more than a dozen other serious charges, including rape. He was sentenced to six months in prison, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and dismissal from the service. He also had to register in his home state as a sex offender. Smith's dismissal meant that Van Sice's decision would be automatically transferred to the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals. While a panel of Coast Guard officers had delivered the decision, military law allows the highest-ranking officer above the defendant — in this case Van Sice — to either commute the sentence, dismiss it or let it stand. That officer, however, cannot expand a punishment. Van Sice denied an initial appeal for clemency by Smith's lawyers immediately after the sentence was handed down. Van Sice could not be reached for comment Thursday. Smith's girlfriend, Lindsay Deason, who testified at his court-martial, spoke Thursday with Smith and relayed a statement from him to The Day. “There's much of the story that is untold and much of it has overtones of racial and civil rights discrimination,” Smith said through Deason. “Racial discrimination at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy is a problem that will not be easily resolved. I'm sure that my exoneration will be imminent when the pursuit of justification ends and the pursuit of justice begins. In that pursuit, I maintain my innocence.” Smith's trial resulted in the first conviction of a Coast Guard cadet on felony charges, and led to an intensive examination of the academy's policies and procedures regarding sexual harassment and student culture within the corps of cadets. A task force appointed by Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, D.C., has been interviewing students, teachers, administrators and officers at the academy since August. Capt. Judith Keene, who took over as the academy's commandant of cadets shortly after the trial, said she would scale back the system known as “the corps leading the corps,” in which senior cadets were the first line of discipline among the students. Keene said she would have Coast Guard lieutenants act as supervisors to the cadets, a practice largely abandoned in recent years. The academy began investigating Smith in early December after several female cadets came forward with complaints against him. His ex-girlfriend, a classmate with a high rank among the cadet corps, accused him of raping her after she had blacked out from drinking too much one night when the two were visiting friends in Annapolis, Md. Officers with the Coast Guard Investigative Service spent five months looking into the allegations before charging Smith with nearly two dozen violations involving at least six women. A preliminary hearing whittled down the charges and dismissed one accuser. Brian Judge, the adjudicator in the court-martial, later dismissed another charge that Smith had lied to investigators under oath. During the trial, prosecutors convinced the panel that Smith had blackmailed another female cadet into posing unclothed for pictures and performing oral sex with him after she told him a secret that could jeopardize her Coast Guard career. Smith, who would have graduated in May, faced a maximum prison sentence of 51/2 years.

5:27 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Coast Guard Cadet Charged In Sex Assault
By Katie Warchut
Published on 11/13/2006 in Fire & Police » Court & Police Reports

A 20-year-old U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet, John K. Miller, was charged with third-degree sexual assault Sunday, after Groton town police responded to a late-night party at the Navy Lodge.
Miller was among a group of people that had rented rooms and were apparently partying there Saturday night, said Lt. William Jervis.

Police arrived around 2:30 a.m. after an injury was reported. They found Miller had been punched in the face and had a broken nose.

He was taken to Lawrence & Memorial Hospital, and, as part of the investigation, police said they found Miller was the perpetrator of a sexual assault.

“Some other party took matters into their own hands,” Jervis said, suggesting why Miller had been hit in the face.

Jervis would not say whether the victim of the sexual assault was a cadet and did not know whether others at the party were cadets.

Miller was also charged with unlawful restraint, police say he prevented the victim from leaving the room, and breach of peace. He was released to the Coast Guard authorities, Jervis said.

A spokesman for the academy said school officials would have no immediate comment on the cadet's arrest until they had a chance to review police reports. He said the academy will conduct its own investigation of the matter.

Third-degree sexual assault is when a person compels another person to submit to sexual contact by use of, or threat of, force.

The charge comes at a time when an academy task force is reviewing its policies, partially in response to issues raised during an investigation and court-martial of a cadet for sexual assault last summer. Webster M. Smith, 23, is serving six months in prison for extorting sexual favors from a female classmate.

The academy reported in February that in the last six years its chain of command initiated a total of eight investigations based on claims of sexual harassment or assault.

An undisclosed number of other cases were not investigated because victims chose to report the incidents confidentially to a counselor or a chaplain, options available to them under academy policy.

The eight investigations resulted in seven cadets being dismissed from the academy, and an undisclosed number of cadets having the incidents noted on their records.

9:43 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Coast Guard Cadet Is Now Under Investigation

Courant Staff Writer

November 15 2006

GROTON -- U.S. Coast Guard Academy officials are investigating whether one of their cadets violated military codes of conduct by allegedly engaging in sexual misconduct and underage drinking at an off-campus party here this past weekend.

Third Class Cadet John K. Miller, a 19-year-old sophomore from Lawrence, Mich., was arrested by Groton Town Police Sunday morning and charged with third-degree sexual assault and first-degree unlawful restraint - both felonies - as well as breach of peace following an incident at the Navy Lodge hotel near the Groton submarine base off Route 12.

Police said they were called to the Navy Lodge, a hotel for military personnel and their families, about 2:30 a.m. for an injured person, who turned out to be Miller; he had suffered a broken nose. Groton Police Det. Sgt. John Varone said Miller was one of several people attending a small party in two rooms at the hotel. Alcohol was involved, Varone said, but he declined to say whether Miller was intoxicated.

During questioning about the injury, police determined that a sexual assault had taken place, Varone said. Miller is accused of compelling a woman at the party into sexual contact by the use of force. The woman was not a cadet, police said. They are not releasing her age.

Miller, a wide receiver on the academy's football team, was released after posting $10,000 bail; he was turned over to Coast Guard authorities, Varone said. He is scheduled to appear in Superior Court in New London next Wednesday. Miller's arrest comes just four months after the highly publicized court-martial trial of cadet Webster M. Smith, who was accused of assaulting four female cadets. Smith was acquitted of rape by a military jury last June but sentenced to six months in a naval jail on five lesser charges, including performing oral sex on a cadet in violation of military conduct codes and extorting sex from another cadet. Although some of the incidents for which Smith was initially charged allegedly involved parties off campus, Smith did not face any civilian criminal charges.

A Coast Guard spokesman said academy officials are cooperating with local police during the investigation and conducting a parallel inquiry of their own. Chief Warrant Officer David French, an academy spokesman, said all underage cadets are prohibited from drinking, even when they are on duty in countries or jurisdictions where they are within the legal drinking age of that jurisdiction.

"During the course of our investigation we will try to determine whether alcohol was a factor," French said. Cadets found guilty of such violations could be subjected to discipline ranging from participation in an alcohol education program for first-time offenders to dis-enrollment for repeat offenders. French said the Coast Guard investigation will look into all of the allegations against Miller.

Miller is currently living in his academy barracks and attending classes, French said. He was permitted to be off campus Saturday night into Sunday morning as part of a three-day liberty in connection with the Veterans Day holiday.

Reaction locally to Miller's arrest was subdued Tuesday.

Military personnel and their families are part of the social fabric and residents said Sunday's arrest appeared to be an isolated incident that probably would have little effect on the strong ties between the academy and the community.

"We're a military community and the Coast Guard Academy is just over the river from our submarine base," said Groton Mayor Harry A. Watson. "We have great relations with the military and their families."

New London Mayor Elizabeth Sabilia, whose town hosts the academy on the bank of the Thames River across from Groton, said the academy recently donated 50 reconditioned computers to local elementary schools, and cadets are active in the local Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

"They are very, very helpful to assisting the needs of the community," Sabilia said.

Richard Aguiar, 69, of the Quaker Hill section of Waterford, said the incident appeared to be isolated to one individual's bad conduct. Aguiar, a former member of the Coast Guard Reserve, said he was "disappointed" by the news.

Shannon Rodgers, 31, of Groton, said the incident reflected a larger societal problem of young men behaving badly toward women.

"You're going to find it wherever you are," Rodgers said outside the Dunkin' Donuts on Route 12. "Whenever you have a group of men together drinking, one of them is going to be an [expletive]."

Contact Colin Poitras @

5:24 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Once again last week the American public was confronted with an episode of public racism, when video surfaced of Seinfeld alum Michael Richards using ugly racial epithets to berate African American audience members who had heckled him during a stand-up comedy routine. Inevitably, along with the well-deserved condemnation of Richards’ disgusting behavior came the predictable denunciations of American society as a hotbed of racism.

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson wrote that, “[A]s a society, we still haven't purged ourselves of racial prejudices and animosities. We've buried them under layers of sincere enlightenment and insincere political correctness, but they're still down there, eating at our souls.” That’s a serious charge, and more than a little bit over the top. The fact that some individuals indulge in unforgivably racist behavior doesn’t make American society, as a whole, racist – any more than the continued existence of rapists and wife-beaters means that Americans collectively are harboring secret animus against women.

Maybe, contrary to Robinson’s charge, the problem isn’t that our society remains decidedly, if covertly, racist. Maybe the real problem is that we’ve become so conscious of handling our differences sensitively that we’ve lost the capacity to put aside group identities in the interest of what should matter to all of us.

8:07 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Let's take a closer look at so-called comedian Michael Richards' racist outburst. It tells us more about the overall pathetic moral state of our country than it does about racism.
Richards claims he's not a racist, despite attacking a Black heckler, at a comedy club where he was performing with a string of the most inflammatory, demeaning, and vulgar racial slurs.

The general sentiment is pretty much captured in a column by The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson who sees in what happened here sad proof that "racism is not dead" in America.
Why, after all these years, does racial consciousness in America persist? Is it possible that racism and racial consciousness persist and loom large because we choose it to be this way?
Eugene Robinson says that Michael Richards did not see a heckler. Instead, says Robinson, he saw a Black heckler. But we live in a country that insists on placing all its citizens in racial categories and using measures of how these categories stack up as measures of national decency.
Every major institution _ business, government, educational _ one way or another keeps track of how many blacks it has on board. Every major corporation has a diversity officer to make sure the colors of the beans are in order. Every corporation gets surveys from the NAACP asking them how many blacks they've got.

We have institutionalized race consciousness to the very core of our society, so it should be evident why it persists. It's the law. Racism is no longer understood as a moral problem. It is a political problem.
Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech was not a speech. It was a sermon. He talked about character and exhorted Americans to strive for liberty because we are "God's children."

King was not an impractical man. He knew that laws needed to be passed to deal with segregation and the absence of equality under the law. But he also knew that law "cannot change the heart" and that for us to become a greater nation, we needed to be a more moral nation.

Racism will be with us as long as evil remains within us. The answer will not come from politicians and lawyers.

It will come only when we raise ourselves up. Only then, in the words of Dr. King, will we be able to say "thank God Almighty, we are free at last."

8:30 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

There is too much Political Correctness at the Academy to stimulate intellectual growth. The Academy bosses are straining at gnats and swallowing camels. The ghost of your misdeeds and vile treatment of Webster Smith will follow you where ever you go. It haunts every decision you make. Now, you are making a lot of bad decisions. You are doing the wrong things for the wrong reasons. Professor Gary Donato's classroom approach sounds novel and exciting. It is terrible that such a bright intellectual light has been extinguished to appease a couple of pea-brains. Alas, that is what happens when you start down the slipper slope of prosecuting innocent men on trumpted-up charges. Nothing you ever do again will seem right.
Instructor Feels His Technique Cost Him Job At CG Academy
Introductory rant served Professor Donato well for many years, but 2 cadets complained.

By Richard Rainey of The Day.

For educational purposes, Gary Donato hates women. He hates gays and minorities, too. And, on most occasions, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy instructor throws immigrants into a xenophobic mix for extra measure.
At the beginning of every semester, Donato would launch his American government course with an acerbic attack on all those who are not white and male. He says he presented himself as a “racist, misogynist, homophobic, foreign-hating individual.

It was his way of shocking the political correctness out of cadets as they begin to look at the founding of American democracy and its evolution over the centuries a teaching technique Donato says he has used for 14 years, six of which he spent at the academy.

He used the same tactic on Aug. 24, the fall semester's first day. However, after female students complained about him to the academy's civil rights officer, his technique may well have led to the end of his time there.

Before the semester began, Donato received what he describes as good news: an Aug. 13 letter that his semester-by-semester contract would be extended to the end of the 2006-07 school year.

After the complaints, however, the academy suspended Donato and investigated the incident. Yet documents obtained by The Day showed the investigating officer, Cmdr. Richard F. Roncone, and a three-member oversight panel that included the dean of academics, Kurt Colella, found nothing wrong with Donato's teaching style and recommended he be returned to the classroom.

Instead, Donato received an Oct. 25 letter reneging the offer to teach at the academy in the spring. His contract will expire Dec. 26.

Donato saw a deeper motive for the non-renewal of his contract: The academy, now entrenched in an extensive examination of its policies and procedures in the wake of a court-martial this summer of a black senior cadet convicted of sexual assault, is overly responsive to any conflicts — perceived or otherwise — that might hint at race or gender discrimination on its campus.
There's an over-sensitivity at the academy to look tough after the events of the last year, Donato said. He was referring to the conviction in June of Webster M. Smith, 23, of sexual assault and extortion. Smith is serving a six-month prison sentence in a Navy brig, but continues to maintain his innocence.
Academy officials declined several requests for further comment, calling the Donato case a private personnel matter.
Donato sees his predicament as an indication of what could become a steady chilling effect on academic freedom at the campus. Yet he still sees the academy as an ideal place to work.

For 14 years, Donato has taught classes in the humanities departments of nearly a dozen colleges, from Wesleyan and Yale universities to the University of Connecticut and Mitchell College. He began teaching at the Academy in 1998, and his contract was picked up every semester afterward, he said.

Donato explained his unusual teaching technique as an illustration of the layering of laws that molded the American government over the centuries. As a semester progresses and students examine new laws, constitutional amendments and different philosophies, Donato said, he cuts back on the bigotry to show how society and government have evolved.

You don't design (government) for the best of conditions,” he said. “You design it for the worst of conditions.

9:12 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Cadet convicted of sexual misconduct released from prison
Associated Press Writer

November 28, 2006, 6:41 PM EST
NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A former U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet has been released from prison after serving about five months for extorting a female classmate for sexual favors, his attorney and the Coast Guard said Tuesday.

Webster M. Smith, the first student court-martialed in the academy's 130-year history, was acquitted of rape in June, but was convicted of extortion, sodomy, indecent assault and other charges. He was sentenced to six months in a military prison in South Carolina and kicked out of the service in a case that prosecutors said brought shame on the academy.
Smith, 23, of Houston, was released last week, said his attorney, Merle Smith, and academy spokesman David French. Webster Smith, who must register as a sex offender in Texas, was released early for good behavior, his attorney said.

"I feel that he's a fine young man who has faced this circumstance as forthrightly as he could," said Merle Smith, who is not related to the former cadet. "It was an unfortunate result that he had to serve any time at all."

Smith is applying to colleges, his attorney said.

"This is a major setback but nothing permanent or indelible," Merle Smith said. "It's in his mind but he's not going to let it control the rest of his life."

The case involved four female cadets, but the jury acquitted Smith of sexual misconduct charges, including rape, involving three of them. The primary charges on which he was convicted stemmed from a series of sexual encounters with a classmate in her dorm room last year.

The classmate said she was too afraid to protest because she feared Smith would reveal a secret that could have jeopardized her Coast Guard career.

Smith, who testified in his own defense, acknowledged that they took naked pictures of each other, gave each other massages and had oral sex that night. But he said it was all consensual.

With no DNA or forensic evidence in the case, prosecutors relied on the testimony of Smith's former on-again, off-again girlfriend to carry the rape case. But she remembered little from the evening, saying she had drank heavily.

London Steverson, a Coast Guard Academy graduate and former officer who is now a federal judge, asked the NAACP to investigate Smith's conviction, claiming it is an example of "rampant" racial discrimination at the academy. Smith is black.

Cleon Smith, Smith's father, agreed and said his son's rights were violated. Immediately after the trial, the elder Smith filed complaints with various federal agencies and has a case pending with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

"I assure you, others have done considerably worse. They didn't make history," Cleon Smith said in a phone interview Wednesday. "Obviously we're jubilant that my son is out. We're eager for him to move on. We've got to get his life back on track."

Steverson, who led the Coast Guard's minority recruiting section in the 1970s, sent a letter to academy superintendent, Rear Adm. James C. Van Sice, on June 29, a day after Smith's conviction, demanding the verdict be overturned.

Van Sice earlier this month found no fault with the trial or the verdict.

The Coast Guard established a task force to examine race and gender issues at its waterfront academy after the court martial. The task force, composed of senior Coast Guard officers and civilians, is spending four months delving into life at the military school and will make recommendations back to Coast Guard headquarters.

The academy, founded in 1876, is the smallest U.S. service academy with an enrollment of about 950 cadets. Women represent about 30 percent of Coast Guard Academy cadets, compared with less than 20 percent at the Air Force and Naval Academies and about 15 percent at West Point.

6:38 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A U.S. Coast Guard Academy cadet who was sentenced to six months in prison on sex charges has been released early.

The Coast Guard and Webster Smith's lawyer said Smith was released after serving about five months.

Smith, the first student court-martialed in the academy's 130-year history, was acquitted of rape in June, but he was convicted of extortion, sodomy, indecent assault and other charges.

He was sentenced to six months in a military prison in South Carolina and kicked out of the service in a case that prosecutors said brought shame on the academy.

Smith, who lives in Houston, was released last week and is living with his parents in Texas.

6:42 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The U.S. Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals has scheduled oral arguments in the Case of The Appeal of the Court-martial Conviction of Cadet Webster Smith for January 16, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia.
A legal brief filed by his lawyers claims the convictions should be thrown out because the defense team was not allowed to fully cross-examine one of his accusers during Smith's court martial. They say that meant the jury didn't hear testimony that the accuser, a female cadet, Shelly Roddenbush, had once had consensual sex with a Coast Guard enlisted man and then called it sexual assault.
Lt. Cmdr. Patrick M. Flynn, the government's lawyer for the appeal, said 27 November that the jury "heard enough" and the trial judge was within his rights to impose reasonable limits on the cross-examination.
"They didn't need to hear the additional details the defense is arguing they should have been allowed to hear."
The defense also is asking the court to set aside Smith's convictions on two lesser charges of failing to obey an order and abandoning watch.

10:23 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

International Herald Tribune - France
(The Associated Press) WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2007
Lawyers for a former cadet who was the first student court-martialed in the 130-year history of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's are seeking to reverse his convictions for sexual misconduct.
Oral Arguments before the Coast Guard Court of Military Appeals is set for 16 January 2008 in Arlington, Va.

10:57 AM  

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