Webster M. Smith, formerly of Canoe U. in New London, is out of the slammer and has new counsel. It's not all water under the bridge.
From a recent article from the Associated Press on Mr. Smith's appeal:
Among the points in the appeal filed April 13 is a claim that a key witness, a female cadet, had previously falsely accused a Coast Guard enlisted man of sexual assault to avoid discipline.Er, let me get this straight. Mr. Smith alleges that the woman told him that she slept with an enlisted member and then called it sexual assault so she wouldn't get in trouble, and he wasn't allowed to cross examine her in order to get the entire story out?
The woman testified at Smith's trial that she was afraid to protest their sexual encounters because she feared he would reveal a secret she had confided to him. Prosecutors said Smith held that secret over her, extorting her for sexual favors.
The secret was described in Smith's trial as a crime that could have jeopardized her Coast Guard career.
The appeal claims Smith's lawyers weren't allowed to question or cross-examine the woman about the allegedly false accusation against the enlisted man.
Limiting cross-examination of the woman, the appeal said, denied Smith his constitutional right of confronting his accusers, "of showing, through cross-examination, that (the female cadet) had lied before under similar circumstances and that she had a motive (indeed the same motive) to lie again."
Ouch. That hurts.
If there is truth to his claims, this is going to go on for a long, long time.
And what of the enlisted man who was charged with assault when it really wasn't?
Over at Setting the Record Straight, London Steverson suggests (er, no, he doesn't suggest... he lays it out there in stereo) that the "conspiracy widens."
Mr. Steverson says that Admiral Van Sice and Captain Wisniewski
eviscerated the Honor Code concepts. They coached witnesses to lie. They tampered with witnesses, exerted unlawful command influence, they abused their discretion and they misused the legal process.I'm sure we'll be hearing more about this.
For those of you keeping track, in the mean time I'm still not blogging about the Coast Guard.