Air Force sex assault case lands at DM---and outrages family
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - There's outrage that the Air Force has stationed an officer convicted, in a controversial sexual assault case---to Davis Monthan---outrage because much of the family of that alleged victim lives right here in Tucson.
The officer, Lt. Colonel James Wilkerson, was convicted, and thrown out of the Air Force but now a Three-Star General has reversed the officer's conviction and reinstated him.
Guilty of sexual assault; sentenced to a year in military prison. That was the verdict and punishment fellow officers handed down to Lt. Colonel James Wilkerson in a court martial.
Kim Hanks accused him of assaulting her in his house while he was serving at Aviano Air Base Italy.
But Lt. General Craig Franklin overturned the convictions, and reinstated Lt. Col. Wilkerson.
Now the Air Force has transferred Wilkerson to Davis Monthan.
That was a real shock to Dr. Stephen Hanks. He's Kim Hanks brother.
He says, "The fact that Lt. Colonel Wilkerson's being stationed here where half Kim's family lives, where Kim comes to visit and that it was done without any regard for our family or even contacting Kim."
Dr. Hanks says Tucson is such a small town, there's a real chance, he or someone else in the family could run into Wilkerson.
Referring to Lt. General Franklin's order throwing out the conviction Dr. Hanks says: "It looks like cronyism. It looks like old boy network. It looks like fighter pilots sticking together. It doesn't look like justice. It doesn't look like justice you or I are used to seeing."
Now Kim Hanks family, and activists against sexual assault in the military are pushing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to take Lt. Colonel Wilkerson and the General who reversed his conviction and kick them both out of the Air Force.
There will be a demonstration outside DM at 4:30 Thursday. The Hanks family hopes calling attention will make the Air Force reconsider.
The Air Force tells us, Lt. Colonel Wilkerson's record now allows him to serve where ever the Air Force feels he can be useful and the Air Force does not consider someone's extended family in a case like this.