Officer Defends Overturning Sexual Assault Verdict


WASHINGTON - The Air Force commander who overturned a guilty verdict in a sexual assault case says he found too many inconsistencies with the alleged victim's account of the incident and determined that the accused officer was more believable.

Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin says the woman refused offers to drive her home from a party at the accused officer's house, didn't accurately describe the house layout and didn't seem credible. He says the accused, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, was a doting father with a good career and it would be "incongruent" for him to leave his wife, go downstairs and assault a sleeping woman he'd just met. He acknowledges Wilkerson didn't pass a polygraph test.

Franklin's defense of his decision is laid out in a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

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