MALMSTROM AFB CAPTAIN CONVICTED OF
"WRONGFUL SEXUAL CONTACT" AND "CONDUCT
UNBECOMING AN OFFICER" - GETS SIX MONTHS
AT LEAVENWORTH AND DISMISSAL FROM AIR
FORCE - FEMALE ACCUSER ADMITS PRIOR
"INTIMACIES" WITH ADAM PITMAN - WAITED
MONTHS TO COMPLAIN ABOUT "INAPPROPRIATE"
PHONE CALLS - CLAIMED "SEX ASSAULT" TOOK
PLACE IN MISSLE SILO - CHARGES LODGED
IN WAKE OF LT'S POOR FITNESS REPORT
It was a classic "he said - she said" case, but prosecutors hammered Air Force Capt. Adam Pitman with all the subtlety of a pack of wild dogs chasing a wounded and bleeding deer across an open field.
They were out for a conviction, period, and serious flaws in the accuser's story and background had no effect on the career-conscious JAGs seeking to send Pitman to prison for up to 26 years.
When the Montana court-martial concluded, the 341st Missile Wing officer was hauled out of the courtroom in handcuffs while his wife wept audibly as family members tried to comfort her.
ON HIS WAY TO A PRISON CELL
Pitman had been accused of "aggravated sexual contact" and "committing an indecent act" in addition to "wrongful sexual contact" and "conduct unbecoming an officer."
The seven-member jury, who deliberated just four hours, cleared the captain of the more serious charges, but found him guilty on two others - enough to end Pitman's Air Force career and send him to the slammer for at least six months.
There were no witnesses or video-tape in the contentious case. Just the "word" of the accuser for the politically-correct jury to take into account.
Somehow, they failed to consider or at least for the most part ignored, damaging information about the female first lieutenant that might have indicated a motive in her making such charges.
"VICTIM" HAS EARLIER BEEN INTIMATE WITH CAPT PITMAN
On the witness stand, the accuser admitted going to a party at Capt. Pitman's house prior to the missile silo "incident" at which she was seen hugging and kissing the officer as well as other "intimacies" that Monica Lewinsky would be most familiar with.
Allegedly, the junior officer got her nose out of joint when she discovered Pitman was a married man, yet she - according to sworn testimony from another officer at Malmstrom - "requested" duty with Pitman in the silo, knowing full well they would be alone together for up to 24 hours.
Defense attorney Maj. Shawn Cline pointed out a hole in the lieutenant's story that she only "found out" about her assignment with Pitman the morning duty had been slated.
An officer who handled scheduling testified that the accuser knew "days before" that she was going to be assigned with the captain, yet - according to the testimony - declined a change in the roster "because she said she wanted Pitman's help on a painting project in the capsule."
THE PROSECUTION PILES ON, SEEKING A CONVICTION AT ANY COST
It should be noted that prosecutors got all excited when they declared Pitman had made "inappropriate phone calls" to the accuser in the weeks after the friendly get-together at his home.
What they failed to disclose was, the lieutenant only complained about the alleged phone calls some 18 months after they supposedly occurred. The "incident" in the silo was in December 2007. Why the long delay in reporting such an offense? Or did it really happen or not?
At one point in the proceedings, pious prosecutors dinged Pitman for "not apologizing" to his "victim." Well, duh. The captain maintained his innocence throughout the court martial, so the JAGs tried to score points on their target because he hadn't "apologized" (i.e. admit "guilt') to a woman who may well have set him up.
POOR PERFORMANCE RATING FOR ACCUSER PRECEEDED CHARGES
Perhaps most damning of all was the revelation the accuser filed the deadly charges almost immediately after receiving a poor performance rating. Could the complaint have been a "smokescreen" to save the junior officer's career at the expense of a man she had one time been intimate with? We may never know.
But Pitman's career has been destroyed and he is on his way to a prison cell. It remains to be seen if his accuser can look forward to a quick promotion to captain.
We can't resist quoting the fatuous Col. Michael Fortney, commander of the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, when he self-righteously declared:
"Military members must adhere to the highest standards of professionalism. As such, the Air Force holds members accountable for violations of the law and Air Force directives."
Oh, really? We guess the silly colonel never met or heard of Jill Metzger or former Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Fiscus.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: To the lunatic fringe, who love to e-mail us with nit-picking comments or outright falsehoods - save your energy. We know how to use the DELETE button. This web site is well-known for being fair to all sides, and we do NOT have any truck with those who actually commit sexual assault or harassment. But in the Pitman case, a five year-old could figure justice was not done. That's what we're about. Equal justice for all.]