In 2014, Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Keith E. Barry was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault. Three years later, Rear Admiral Patrick J. Lorge (Ret.), the Convening Authority in Senior Chief Barry’s case, submitted a sworn declaration wherein he testified that he was pressured to rule contrary to the evidence and uphold Senior Chief Barry’s conviction.
As quoted by the Navy Times, Lorge stated this pressure came directly from VADM James Crawford III, former Judge Advocate General of the Navy, and as high up as the U.S. Senate and the White House. More specifically, Lorge testified that “. . . a decision to disapprove findings, regardless of merit, would bring hate and discontent on the Navy from the President, as well as senators including Senator Kirsten Gillibrand . . .” In that same article, Lorge said that then Rear Admiral Crawford expressed to him any verdict other than guilty would “ruin his career”.
Lorge expressed his concerns regarding the validity of the
charges and impartiality of Senior Chief Barry’s trial, both in letters to then
Judge Advocate General of the Navy, VADM Nanette M. DeRenzi, and again under
oath during a Dubay hearing. Ultimately,
with the pressure applied to Lorge, Senior Chief Barry was sentenced to 3 years
in confinement, of which he served 2.5 years.
On 5 Sep 2018, the military’s appellate court threw out his conviction and prison sentence, contending that top legal officers concern regarding the service’s reputation for handling alleged sexual assault cases had tainted the case. In a 43-page brief reversing the lower courts’ decisions, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces dismissed the case “with prejudice,” so the government cannot renew the same charges against Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) Keith E. Barry.
The three JAG officers involved in the corruption, including Vice Admiral Crawford, have not been held accountable. Indeed, just days after the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces found Vice Admiral Crawford exercised unlawful command influence over Senior Chief Barry’s case, Vice Admiral Crawford retired with full benefits.
This petition asks for a Congressional Investigation to hold accountable all parties – including Vice Admiral Crawford, U.S. Senators and the White House – that acted in furtherance of this corruption.
Sincerely, Brad Bailey
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