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Sexual Misconduct Allegations in The CAF

Loachman

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The fact that somebody was convicted of preying upon another human is not enough for you question that your positive judgment may have been in error?
The former Colonel had not suffered life-altering mental wounds in combat. He is what he is, a base and loathsome predator who did what he did - including taking photographs of himself in his victims' lingerie (and, for those who have not seen those photographs, I recommend against looking for them) - purely for jollies.

He acted in accordance with his nature and cannot be rehabilitated, although he could well fake it. He will remain a threat if released. If for public protection alone, he needs to be kept locked up.

In this case, the offender should be given whatever therapy that may help him correct himself while serving his sentence and post-release as assault and rape did not appear to be part of his original nature.

He has been rightfully tried and convicted and will serve his sentence. He still deserves treatment, and the public at large will also be well-served if it is successful.

One is malevolence personified.

The other was broken by his service.
 

Haggis

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I cannot see any justification for that. It strikes me as unjust, unfair, and outright mean.
That's why it's called the Code of Service Discipline. Justice has nothing to do with it (yes, I'm dating myself with that statement).

Seriously, the only service offence that I believe might fit would be NDA 129 and that would be a hard sell. I would not go there.
 

Loachman

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If a "crazed vet runs amok with axe" story surfaces about some guy who had trouble processing his experiences, I expect the institution and its leaders to stand with him. And murder is about as awful as it gets.
"Stand with him" is open to interpretation.

He should be provided with appropriate treatment as soon as possible, which should begin immediately, especially if he was not receiving treatment already.

He should be charged and tried and, if found guilty, sentenced appropriately.

And he should be provided with testimony regarding his service and character prior to commission of the crime, at either or both of the trial and sentencing stages as appropriate.
 

Loachman

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That's why it's called the Code of Service Discipline. Justice has nothing to do with it (yes, I'm dating myself with that statement).
Yes, I know, but unjustified punishments do not exactly improve discipline.
 

Halifax Tar

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The other was broken by his service.

You think. I wouldn't be suprise if we found out this Maj had done this previously.

Look I feel for anyone struggling with PTSD. But that does not condon or excuse and criminal acts committed. And with an act this grievous, in my mind, it shouldn't even been a mitigating factor.

The man terrorized a family. Raping the wife and assaulting the husband.

The Maj ceased being the victim when he committed those acts and for me looses all sympathy to his plight.
 

Brad Sallows

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The fact that somebody was convicted of preying upon another human is not enough for you question that your positive judgment may have been in error?

Not if I'm attesting to behaviour preceding a change in behaviour.
 

Loachman

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You think. I wouldn't be suprise if we found out this Maj had done this previously.

Look I feel for anyone struggling with PTSD. But that does not condon or excuse and criminal acts committed. And with an act this grievous, in my mind, it shouldn't even been a mitigating factor.

The man terrorized a family. Raping the wife and assaulting the husband.

The Maj ceased being the victim when he committed those acts and for me looses all sympathy to his plight.
On what do you base your assumption that he had committed similar crimes before these two?

I have not claimed that his mental wounds condone or excuse his crimes. He committed them, and, ultimately, is responsible.

It is the judge's place to decide whether or not any potentially-mitigating factors should be considered and what weight, if any, should be given to them. He or she cannot make a full and fair decision if any are held back from him or her, nor can he or she consider what weight, if any, should should be given to any aggravating factors.

The trial is solely to determine guilt or innocence.

The sentencing phase is to determine the punishment to be imposed.

To prevent a convicted individual from having mitigating factors presented in the sentencing phase is equivalent to depriving him or her of a full and fair defence in the trial phase.

No matter how heinous the crime, the accused is entitled to a fair and proper trial and, if convicted, an appropriate and just punishment.

Nothing more, and nothing less.
 

McG

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Not if I'm attesting to behaviour preceding a change in behaviour.
Could someone not drop the same statement to justify backing Russell Williams if they decided he at some point had showed a change in behaviour?
Are you qualified to make informed representations on mental health impacts contributing to specific behaviours on individuals?
Do you think the typical non-medical GOFO or senior officer is so qualified?
 

ballz

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Could someone not drop the same statement to justify backing Russell Williams if they decided he at some point had showed a change in behaviour?
Are you qualified to make informed representations on mental health impacts contributing to specific behaviours on individuals?
Do you think the typical non-medical GOFO or senior officer is so qualified?

Did MGen Dawe provide a medical opinion?

There's a big difference between providing a background on someone's previously known character and/or behaviour patterns, and making "representations on mental health impacts." You seem to have created a straw man to argue with here.

I'm enjoying the conversation, but we're losing a grip on what the argument is about here.

It's for the judge to make judgements on how to weigh a person's previously known character and behaviours should impact sentencing. A medical expert can tell the judge about how things like mental illness may have impacted them, but only someone who has known them for a long time prior to the offence is going to be able to "make informed representations" about the person's character.

A medical expert providing a character reference about someone they don't know / have only treated medically is as stupid as an Infantry Officer providing a medical opinion.

EDIT: The speculation about the letter is causing this to drag on. Whether it's good or bad, making it public would help this conversation move along a lot faster. There's something off about the fact that it's not been published with all this heat and light.
 

Halifax Tar

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On what do you base your assumption that he had committed similar crimes before these two?

I don't have an assumption. I said I wouldn't be surprised. In my experience sexual abusers rarely just do it a couple of times and generally have a wake of destruction behind them. My experience is I am a victim of sexual abuse, and I have a father who spent his life in the corrections system winding up as a warden and this is what he told me.

I have not claimed that his mental wounds condone or excuse his crimes. He committed them, and, ultimately, is responsible.

I agree.

It is the judge's place to decide whether or not any potentially-mitigating factors should be considered and what weight, if any, should be given to them. He or she cannot make a full and fair decision if any are held back from him or her, nor can he or she consider what weight, if any, should should be given to any aggravating factors.

The trial is solely to determine guilt or innocence.

The sentencing phase is to determine the punishment to be imposed.

To prevent a convicted individual from having mitigating factors presented in the sentencing phase is equivalent to depriving him or her of a full and fair defence in the trial phase.

No matter how heinous the crime, the accused is entitled to a fair and proper trial and, if convicted, an appropriate and just punishment.

Nothing more, and nothing less.
And he received a trial and a sentence. A couple by the sounds of it. Both found him guilty. Not an ounce of sympathy from me, I couldn't give two hoots if this guy was in Seal Team Six when they caught OBL, everything he did previously was nullified when he committed those acts, in my eyes.

And yes if my best friend in the whole world was this guy, I would write him/her off just as easily.
 

OldSolduer

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You think. I wouldn't be suprise if we found out this Maj had done this previously.
I'd venture to guess this wasn't his first offence of that nature.

Read any book on criminal profiling - John Douglas wrote a few as did Robert Ressler, both from the Behavioral Sciences Unit of the FBI.

He has the hallmarks of a serial offender. His military history - postings, courses etc should be closely examined to see if there are any unsolved B& Es and rapes in those areas. I know its circumstantial but its a start point.
 

OldSolduer

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On what do you base your assumption that he had committed similar crimes before these two?
I can answer that - sort of.

You probably won`t wake up tomorrow morning and decide to become a serial rapist or killer.

This sort of crime has its roots in childhood. I would not be surprised if he was a bully or he had a reputation in high school of forcing himself on teen age girls.
 

Loachman

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I don't have an assumption. I said I wouldn't be surprised. In my experience sexual abusers rarely just do it a couple of times and generally have a wake of destruction behind them.

But even a serial rapist has a first time.

I see no reason to believe that this particular offender has a history.

No, I would likely not be surprised if he had, but would be equally unsurprised if he hadn't.

Not an ounce of sympathy from me
Nor, for his crimes, from me.

As a human being who was severely damaged as a result of his service to his Country, however, I have.

And, like anybody who has done his time, he deserves to be re-admitted to society upon eventual release from custody.

And treatment for his wounds.
 

Brad Sallows

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Could someone not drop the same statement to justify backing Russell Williams if they decided he at some point had showed a change in behaviour?

Sure. Almost nothing is error-proof.

Are you qualified to make informed representations on mental health impacts contributing to specific behaviours on individuals?

No. So what? My layman's opinion on someone's character and whether it changed would not need a medical basis. Presumably judges are capable of weighing opinions.
 

Brad Sallows

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This sort of crime has its roots in childhood. I would not be surprised if he was a bully or he had a reputation in high school of forcing himself on teen age girls.

It's possible, but until those with the burden of proof prove it, it's irrelevant.
 

McG

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Did MGen Dawe provide a medical opinion?
A Colonel or GOFO speaking/writing as a representative of the CAF (or any part of it) is unable to present a " layman's opinion on someone's character" - that colonel or GOFO is presenting the institution's opinion. In making the representation, their words are carried not by the authority of the speaker but by the authority of the institution. If the idea is presented that major rapist was a really good guy who was broken by the service and PTSD has changed him, that is a medical opinion for which the CAF has qualified professionals to develop.

From another perspective: If one believes (as some are arguing here) that the CAF is obliged or not obliged to provide character references based upon whether or not service attributable PTSD was a factor, then the act of giving a statement of character support on behalf of the institution would imply a medical opinion on behalf of he institution.

As I have said previously, if someone wants to provide a character reference then they can take off the rank and uniform to provide that reference as an individual. But if that opinion is going to be offered with the weight of the institution, then it needs to have been confirmed by the competent authorities of the institution.
 

Navy_Pete

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But even a serial rapist has a first time.

I see no reason to believe that this particular offender has a history.

No, I would likely not be surprised if he had, but would be equally unsurprised if he hadn't.


Nor, for his crimes, from me.

As a human being who was severely damaged as a result of his service to his Country, however, I have.

And, like anybody who has done his time, he deserves to be re-admitted to society upon eventual release from custody.

And treatment for his wounds.
He did it twice by the time he got caught the first time, so he was establishing a history.

He got probation here, went on to sexually assault someone else, and went to jail for that.

My cup runneth over with a big glass of 'f that guy'. (which might be a fun embroidery I guess)

So Dawe provided him a character witness statement that helped get him probation, which Hamilton took advantage of to reoffend, while not supporting the original victims under his command. Oops. And to top it all off, Vance said he reviewed it, agreed it was the wrong call, said he fixed it by providing clear direction to avoid a repeat, and apparently did SFA.

So far all I'm learning is that nothing actually happens unless it's in the papers, then we learn from it and pledge to do better. Also we are so interested in being fair that it is almost impossible to get relieved of command; probably a happy medium between our approach and the American one.

This was a really poor decision, with a really poorly done review of said decision, that is being really poorly defended by the big giant heads. Takes a big steaming crap all over all the really competent, dedicated senior people who never make the papers, but makes it a challenge to just put my head down and plow on with all the work that needs done to keep the proverbial wheels on.
 
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