More Details in Controversial Wilkerson Case

A command-directed investigation found that Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, the former inspector general for the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano AB, Italy, “fathered a child as a result of an extra-marital affair.” However, “because the incident occurred more than five years ago, it lies outside the statute of limitations for court-martial or Article 15 action under the Uniformed Code of Military Justice.” That means Wilkerson cannot be tried for adultery or conduct unbecoming an officer, states a 12th Air Force release, which announced the CDI findings on June 12. Wilkerson was convicted of improper sexual contact with a female civilian base employee in November 2012, but 3rd Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin overturned the conviction in late February citing insufficient evidence. The case has brought immense backlash from Congress and is just one of several Air Force sexual misconduct cases to spur a controversial debate on whether the UCMJ should be amended so the convening authority no longer has the right to overturn jury convictions (See above). The 12th Air Force release said “appropriate administrative actions” have been taken, but it does not provide any additional information. “In accordance with the Privacy Act, Air Force officials are prohibited from commenting further on administrative actions without the written consent of the individual involved.”