“There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Doolittle, 1942
Falsely Accused Military Service Members Share their Stories on Capitol Hill.
U.S. Air Force Major Michael Turpiano, Technical Sergeant Aaron Allmon, and former West Point Cadet Trent Cromartie met with legislative staffers, senators and congressmen in 21 senatorial and congressional offices.
These “survivors” of the military’s sexual assault witch-hunts shared their stories about how lives/careers were ruined by false allegations of sexual misconduct. Despite the fact that we were all acquitted of these allegations, they continue to battle the long-lasting emotional, financial, and administrative effects. During their visit, the staffs heard about the disparate treatment resulting from prejudicial investigations, prosecutorial misconduct, and undue command influence. These heroes shared their firm position that evidence and facts is what should drive a case and that a presumption of innocence should be maintained from the outset of an investigation. They informed the staffs that while they were acquitted many innocent service members still languish in prison for crimes they didn’t commit.
False allegations are devastating to the falsely accused, their family members, and the overall operational effectiveness of the military. False allegations also hurt actual victims, as vast amount of resources are being used to pursue baseless claims, which in turn reduces the amount of resources to assist actual victims.