The AFCCA affirmed the findings and sentence of Major William B. King, finding no error that was materially prejudicial to his substantial rights.
King opinion here.
Major William B. King was convicted of one specification of willful dereliction of duty and one specification of fraternization, in violation of Articles 92 and 193, UCMJ. Appellant raises two issues on appeal: (1) whether the evidence is legally and factually sufficient to support his convictions; and (2) whether the military judge erred by precluding cross-examination regarding the complaintant’s prior allegation of sexual harassment. In a unanimous opinion, the Court affirmed Appellant’s conviction.
Appellant argued the evidence posed by CC was inadmissible based on insufficient corroboration for CC’s testimony, as well as having suggested CC had been suffering from “erotomanic delusions”. Additionally, Appellant argued a potential bias because of a claim that CC had filed against the Government, alleging damages as a result of mistreatment under Appellant’s care. Appellant asserted that any personal information CC knew about him was accessible via his social media, that there was no proof of any sexual encounter, and that any text conversations between the two were fabricated or tampered. In light of Appellant’s testimony, the Court found no persuasive reason to doubt that the messages were what they appeared to be, and that CC did not suffer from the alleged mental condition that Appellant claimed she had. Additionally, the Court found that any potential biases did not defeat CC’s credibility in light of the corroborating evidence, particularly the messages and phone records.
2. The military judge did not err when they precluded the cross-examination of complaintant’s prior allegation of sexual harassment.
At trial, the military judge ruled that trial defense counsel could not cross-examine the Government’s character witnesses regarding a previous false allegation. Appellant contended that the military judge’s ruling prevented the Defense from conducting an effective cross-examination of CC and presenting evidence to discredit CC’s character. The Court concluded that because Appellant’s counsel was not prevented by the military judge, nor was there an attempt to cross-examine CC regarding the prior harassment allegations, that there was no factual basis for Appellant’s specific claim on appeal. Regarding the restriction of questioning the Government's witnesses, the Court determined that the military judge reasonably concluded that there was minimal probative value in allowing Defense counsel to question the witnesses about the previous allegations CC had made against another member.
Opinion authored by Chief Judge J. Johnson with Senior Judge Posch and Judge Key.
Elements of willful dereliction of duty for which Appellant was convicted include: (1) that Appellant had a certain duty, that is, to refrain from seeking sexual activity with a patient who was receiving or had previously received his psychological services and treatment; (2) that Appellant knew of the duty; and (3) that on the dates and at the location prescribed, Appellant was willfully derelict in the performance of that duty by seeking sexual activity with CC who was receiving or had previously received his psychological services and treatment.
The false belief that there is a loving relationship with another person that is not in love with the person holding the delusion.
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