Military Commanders pressured to convict dubious rape cases

This is something we already know, but in a startling admission, a retired Navy Admiral has made an admission that he was coerced and had his career threatened, if he did not uphold a rape conviction of a Navy Seal, that he believed was innocent.

The Daily Caller and other news organizations are reporting that recently retired U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Patrick J. Lorge has admitted that political pressure placed on him, caused him to convict Navy Seal Keith Barry of rape in 2014.

Rear Admiral Patrick Lorge (Retired)

Lorge has provided an affidavit which is part of the appellate package submitted by Barry’s attorneys who have filed a motion with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, who describe Barry’s conviction as one of the worst examples of Unlawful Command Influence since the implementation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice in 1950.

In his affidavit, Lorge writes;

“I did not find that the Government proved the allegation against Senior Chief Barry beyond a reasonable doubt,”

“Absent the pressures described [in my affidavit], I would have disapproved the findings in this case.” 

He also claimed that the political pressures came from as high up as the White House and the U.S. Senate.  He further added in his affidavit;

“At the time, the political climate regarding sexual assault in the military was such that a decision to disapprove the findings, regardless of merit, would bring hate and discontent on the Navy from the President, as well as senators including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.”

Lorge alleges that then Judge Advocate General of the Navy; Vice Admiral Nanette DeRenzi discussed with him the importance of convening authorities in sexual assault cases, and that he eventually was swayed by then Rear Admiral James Crawford, who is now a Vice Admiral and the Current Navy Judge Advocate General.

In further describing the conversation Lorge had with DeRenzi at the time, he recalls;

 “She conveyed the importance that the convening authorities held and how tenuous the ability of an operational commander to act as a covering authority had become, especially in findings or sentences in sexual assault cases due to the intense pressure on the military at the time. “She mentioned that every three or four months’ military commanders were making court-martial decisions that got questioned by Congress and other political and military leaders, including the president. This conversation reinforced my perception of the political pressures the Navy faced at the time.”

 Here is a photo of now retired Rear Admiral Nanette DeRenzi, who is now Chief Operating Officer of Jefferson Business Consulting based in Washington D.C.

Nanette DeRinzi

In Barry’s motion, Lorge recalls that he was told by Admiral Crawford;

“If you disapprove the findings, it will ruin your career.”

Well; one thing is good that at least Barry’s attorneys have filed for motion to have the conviction reversed.

What concerns me is; why didn’t Lorge show some cajones and dismiss the conviction at the time he reviewed it, if he felt that Barry was innocent?

I think the answer is in the quote directly above.  He knew if he did the right thing, his career would be over.  At the time, he felt that his career was more important than sending an innocent man to jail, but at least he is being honest about it now.

In an interview with a major newspaper, Barry’s civilian defense attorney; David Shelton stated that admirals are “attempting to sweep” the actions of senior officials “under the rug.”

In another recent similar article, I described the case of Air Force A1C Brandon Wright wherein the Air Force Judge Advocate General at the time; Lieutenant General Richard Harding made the following statement to another convening authority, when SIX Air Force prosecutors agreed that A1C Wright’s case should have been dismissed at the Article 32 (preliminary) hearing.

“the failure to refer the case to trial would place the Air Force in a difficult position with Congress; absent a “smoking gun,” victims are to be believed and their cases referred to trial; and dismissing the charges without meeting with the named victim violated an Air Force regulation.”

These two cases represent what we have known all along, but are now just coming to light in lieu of appellate cases; that in almost every instance; even in cases that lack sufficient probable cause, or cases in which it is believed that the accusing party is not honest, senior military officers; in these cases, both the Judge Advocates General of the Air Force and Navy, are exercising Unlawful Command Influence.  In the case of Rear Admiral Lorge, threats to end his career if he didn’t uphold a wrongful conviction.

Navy Seal Senior Chief Barry had engaged in a steamy sex affair with a female for about a month, then decided that he did not wish to continue with the relationship.  After the female accuser was advised by Barry that he didn’t wish to continue the relationship; well, you guessed it, she yells rape.

During an interview with NCIS agents, the female accuser described their first sexual encounter as;

“like crazy sex.  It’s a little rough… I am in the hands of a sex god and he is doing things to my body that I had no idea.”

Only after she was dumped, did she make a claim of sexual assault.

It is doubtful that we will get any truthful or specific information from either the Air Force or the Navy and so we can only rely on published appellate court information and decisions.

In the meantime, it is hoped that Navy Seal, Senior Chief Keith Barry will have his conviction overturned, but he can never recover the loss of three years in confinement for a crime that did not occur nor did he commit.

This is completely getting out of hand folks and I will state again, that the U.S. military is THE most dangerous and hostile work environment for males in this nation.  Not only are the inherent dangers present in combat operations, but the mere utterance of the word rape will set forth in motion an eating machine in which the objective; by any means necessary is to convict, even if an admiral has to be threatened with his career.

This is lunacy on steroids, times infinity squared!



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