AT LAST - AFTER SEVEN YEARS IN
© 2006 MilitaryCorruption.com
After seven years in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Todd Forbes has been acquitted by a court-martial panel in Kentucky and is now a free man.
The 44 year-old former Navy recruiter had been charged in 1998 with raping three female "delayed-entry" recruits, not far from the London, Ky. courthouse where he finally obtained justice.
Forbes was acquitted of two of the charges, but was found "guilty" of the third, and sentenced to 15 years at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas.
John "Bull Dog" Wells, a retired Navy commander, successfully overturned Forbes' conviction in May of 2004. However, the government refused to release Forbes, keeping the sailor locked up while they appealed the decision to the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces.
On August 23, 2005, Forbes' conviction was again overturned and he was ordered released on Sept. 21, 2005. But the Navy did not allow him to spend any time with his family. The first-class petty officer was abruptly whisked away to Jacksonville, Fla. where LCDR Beth Payton-O'Brien, a so-called "noted sex-crime prosecutor" was assigned the case. The Navy was counting on the obnoxious and aggressive JAG to make sure Forbes was kept in prison.
"BULL DOG" WELLS WINS ANOTHER CASE - THIS A SWEET VICTORY
After his initial conviction, Forbes' loving and loyal wife Lourdes moved to Leavenworth, Kan. to work at any jobs she could find to support herself and her young son, Todd II. Knowing her husband was innocent of the charges, and determined to see him set free, she scraped together $50-to-60 a month and sent the money to Wells.
"It didn't even come close to covering my expenses," Bull Dog told MilitaryCorruption.com, "but I was so impressed with her honesty and integrity, as well as her great love for Todd, I ate the cost. I was determined this lady and her husband would both receive the justice they had long been denied."
Investigation by Wells and his top "private eye," ex-military man Ken Lord, revealed that the young woman who'd charged "rape," Julie Blevins - a member of the Navy's delayed entry program at the time - had made previous false complaints and threatened her now "ex-husband" with similar accusations.
"I'll do to you what I did to Todd," she allegedly told then-hubby Kenneth Leigh, who reported the threat to the authorities.
During the first trial, under questioning, Blevins denied that Forbes had raped her. But before long, the female - diagnosed with a "borderline personality disorder" - found a slick lawyer to sue the government for $2.5 million based upon specious allegations of "rape" against PO1 Forbes.
The lawsuit was later dismissed in federal court for "lack of merit."
THE NAVY'S "PERSECUTION," AS WELL AS PROSECUTION OF TODD FORBES
Speaking of money, we hear the Navy may try to block Forbes from receiving his back pay for the entire time he was confined at Leavenworth. We're told they might attempt to harass him further by claiming his pay should have stopped the day his enlistment ran out. The fact that Forbes shouldn't have been in jail in the first place, apparently didn't occur to them. Or they just don't care. That's probably the best answer.
At any rate, "Bull Dog" Wells is fired up and vows if his client is not paid "back pay" for all the time he spent in prison, the Louisiana lawyer will initiate "swift and sure action" in federal court to block "such a mean-spirited act."
The abrasive Payton-O'Brien must have sensed she was going to lose, we are told, as she "bailed out" of the case just before it concluded, leaving two lesser-experienced JAGS to carry the ball for the government.
Wells easily "out-lawyered" them. Impressed with his strong representation and evidence of outrageous and malicious behavior on the part of the Navy and prosecution team, "in an unprecedented action," Wells said, the members of the court-martial panel (three officers and five enlisted members) went up to Forbes and his wife in the courtroom after acquittal was granted and wished husband and wife well. It was an incredible public rebuke, and couldn't have been a pleasant sight for the JAG "persecution" team.
FALSE ACCUSER COULD FACE CHARGES OF HER OWN
The fact that Blevins lied on her Navy enlistment application, then lied again in court depositions, could land her in big trouble," Wells declared. The tough-talking attorney said he was thinking of asking the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky to "study the trial record and see if criminal charges can be brought against Blevins."
One has to wonder what kind of person, what kind of "human being," would cruelly continue to push for punishment of an innocent person in the face of such a strong case showing abuse of that individual. There are some good JAGS to be sure, but most of them can be found on the defense side of the table, not the "do whatever it takes to win" type prosecuting attorneys.
We don't mean to compare Payton-O'Brien with someone the likes of female JAG officer, LT Jodi Bell (see related stories below), but we do have to wonder what the personal agenda may be of those "women" who would use their position as a military lawyer to send an innocent man back to a jail cell.
MilitaryCorruption.com has initiated an investigation of our own into Payton-O'Brien's actions, trying to ascertain if she has violated any laws and rights of the accused. We welcome any information of interest from our readers who've had past dealings with the super-aggressive JAG and would be willing to share it with us.
Please click on the CONTACT US button above. Your identity will be protected, should you wish to remain anonymous.
Efforts to contact Payton-O'Brien by telephone for any comment she might wish to make were unsuccessful.
NAVY PROSECUTOR MISREPRESENTS
BACKGROUND OF PO1 JIM PRAEFKE ON NCIS
"WANTED" FUGITIVE SHEET, MOTHER OF MUCH-
DECORATED PETTY OFFICER TELLS
MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM - LT JODI BELL
ACCUSED OF DELIBERATELY RELEASING
MISLEADING DOCUMENT "THAT COULD GET MY
SON KILLED." - COPIES OF E-MAIL BETWEEN
DEFENSE ATTORNEY AND BELL CONFIRM CHARGE
WILL NAVY DISCIPLINE JAG LT FOR MISCONDUCT
AND ISSUING A FALSE OFFICIAL DOCUMENT?
OF A FRAME-UP - HOW NAVY ALLOWED
VINDICTIVE WIFE TO DESTROY HUSBAND'S
CAREER - PO1 JIM PRAEFKE WAS "SET UP" SAYS
INSIDE SOURCE - PETTY OFFICER WHO WALKED
AWAY FROM BRIG LAST NOVEMBER, "INNOCENT
MAN," MILITARYCORRUPTION.COM INVESTIGATION
CONCLUDES - NAVY PAO "STONEWALLS" MCC AND
CIVILIAN MEDIA - CLAIMS TRANSCRIPT OF COURT
MARTIAL CAN'T BE RELEASED SINCE "NOT
COMPLETED YET." OBVIOUS STALLING TACTIC,
AS COURT-MARTIAL OVER IN OCT 2005