DID HE OR DIDN'T HE? - NAVY PO2 FOUND GUILTY
OF RAPE, SODOMY, KIDNAPPING AND ASSAULT
SENTENCED TO LIFE BEHIND BARS - SAID TO HAVE
THREATENED FEMALE SAILOR WITH BOX-CUTTER
SHE SAYS HE TOOK HER TO ROOM WELL BELOW
DECKS - FORCED HER TO HAVE SEX - DEFENSE
ATTORNEY CATCHES VICTIM IN FALSE STATEMENT
© 2012 MilitaryCorruption.com
This is one of those tough cases where there are no witnesses, and it comes down to "he said - she said." Who can you believe?
If the prosecution is correct, Navy PO2 Daniel Wilt is a vicious sex predator who tricked a female sailor to go with him below decks, then threatened her with a box-cutter if she didn't give in to his perverted desires.
Court papers indicate the "victim" was penetrated both vaginally and anally.
ALLEGED "THREATS" TO USE BOX-CUTTER ON WOMAN
Wilt threatened to "cut up" the woman and toss her body parts overboard if she resisted, the female sailor testified at his Norfolk, Va. court-martial.
According to her, the E-5 told her there was a "leak" below decks and got her to accompany him down two levels, at which time he brandished the "cutter" and told her what would happen if she resisted.
"I was taken to a room with black trash bags duct-taped to the walls," she recalled. Wilt's attorney didn't dispute that sex took place or where it happened. He maintained, however, the sex acts were "consensual" and the room was regularly used for sexual trysts by other members of the crew.
At one point in the courtroom proceedings, the woman was asked if she'd ever been threatened with assault on ship before. She answered "no," at which time, the defense lawyer reminded her she'd filed a complaint of just such an incident involving a male chief petty officer some time before the alleged April 2012 rape aboard the cruiser Vella Gulf.
Faced with that, the accuser corrected her testimony and acknowledged she'd been less than candid.
EITHER WAY, WILT DESERVES PUNISHMENT
Wilt is no poster-boy for the Navy. He has a wife and two children he's put in a bad way by his selfish actions. Even if the sex was "consensual," the PO2 deserves to be punished.
But if he goes away for the rest of his life and rots in prison, what good will that accomplish for the most innocent victims of his stupid and perhaps criminal actions - his family?
At least the Navy will defer the stoppage of Wilt's pay and continue health insurance coverage for his family, while the appeal process is underway.
That's better than nothing.