Why the court martial will end, with a caveat
A year after being cleared of any wrongdoing, a veteran from the U.S. Army who was jailed in 2016 for sexually assaulting a woman in a military court and being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter has been cleared of the charges he was facing at the time.
In the first of a series of cases in the U, Army Judge Col. Mark P. Green said Thursday that the Army Criminal Investigation Command is dropping the case against Sgt. 1st Class Christopher L. Johnson, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison in August 2016 for his role in the assault on the victim.
In October 2016, Johnson was found guilty by a jury of two counts of forcible sexual assault and involuntary manslaughter in the 2015 death of the woman.
The Army said at the trial that Johnson was not aware of the sexual relationship that occurred, but that the military had already concluded that Johnson had raped and sexually assaulted the woman, who is now 50 years old.
A federal judge in Ohio in 2016 found Johnson not guilty on both counts and ordered him to pay $1.6 million in compensatory damages.
He appealed that ruling, and the U of M decided not to appeal the ruling.
In its ruling in the new case, the U said that it found that Johnson, the victim’s father, had a duty to protect the woman during the assault.
That duty required him to take the woman to the hospital, the judge said.
Johnson did not take her to the police station to report the incident, and he “did not report the assault to the military or the police,” the judge wrote.
Instead, Johnson told the woman he “wanted to kill her,” the court filing said.
The court filing also said Johnson was “shocked” to learn that the victim was pregnant and had not reported it to the Army.
Johnson was also “disturbed” by the death of his own daughter, the filing said, and “felt that he had been treated unfairly and unfairly by the Army.”
The Army has a policy that prohibits sexual assault of women in the military, and sexual assault cases are handled by military prosecutors.
But the military also is responsible for determining what punishment is appropriate for soldiers who have committed crimes, the ruling said.