Air Force Official Resigns After Criticism Over Sexual Assault Ruling
Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin in February threw out a case against then-Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, who had been found guilty of aggravated sexual assault, sentenced to a year in jail and dismissal from the Air Force.
"My judgment has been questioned publicly regarding my decisions as a general court martial convening authority," Franklin said in a statement announcing his retirement. "This is a distraction for the Air Force and for my role as a general court martial convening authority."
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., called Franklin's decision to retire "the right one," adding that "his handling of sexual assault cases is the best possible illustration" of why extra protections for sexual assault victims were included in the National Defense Authorization Act.
McCaskill and Gillibrand are locked in a back-and-forth with battling proposals that would change -- to varying degrees -- how the military handles sexual assault cases. Gillibrand's proposal would strip the chain of command of its power to decide whether sexual assault cases are prosecuted.