Double Jeopardy Could Be In Army Combat Veteran’s Future

According to this recent article, Army Master Sergeant Jim Starek‘s 15-year-old step-daughter levied accusations against him two years ago that could have put him behind bars for up to 20 years. During the final phase of a one-day trial in a civilian courtroom this week, however, a Clarksville, Tenn., jury deliberated for less than 20 minutes before finding him not guilty on four counts of sexual battery by an authority figure. Case closed, right? Not so fast.

MSG Jim Starek

Click on image to view video in new window.

Despite being cleared by the civilian court, this Special Forces Soldier and combat veteran could still faces a military court-martial. Why? Because DoD’s War on Men (a.k.a., “sexual assault witch hunt”) is still being fought with people like U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) beating the war drums. See this piece for the latest details.

During the 20 months that have passed since the release of Three Days In August, my first nonfiction book in which I chronicle the life story and wrongful conviction of Army Special Forces Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, I’ve been contacted by dozens of people who’ve either found themselves in the crosshairs of military prosecutors or have seen a loved one face this perverse new brand of military justice.

Blackstone QuoteThrough a relative, one of them — now service time in a military lockup — wrote to me recently. As has been the case so often with people who contact me, he asked for anonymity until such time as he is released from prison; therefore, I make no mentions of his name, rank or branch of service in the space below. Why? Because I’ve learned from people who know that repercussions behind bars can be hellish.

In his letter, this service member told me that, after being exonerated of sexual assault charges in a civilian court in the state where he was living, he found himself facing charges in a military court. Apparently, there is no protection against double jeopardy (i.e., being tried twice on the same charges) for members of the military.

In much the same manner as Sergeant Stewart, this combat veteran now behind bars wrote that he still stands by the values for which he proudly went to war for his country; however, he notes those values seem to have disappeared among those inside the military justice system.

“Where is the honor in trying a service member after he has already been tried in the jurisdiction of the alleged offense?” he wrote. “Where is the courage for the chain of command, judge, and appellate court to say, even though this is a sexual assault case which has become a sensitive issue, this is not right?”

“I was willing and ready to lose my life for this country,” he concluded, “but not this way.”

Word of warning to Sergeant Starek: “Don’t breathe easy just yet. The military justice system might not be finished with you yet.”

Order Books Graphic LR 6-15-13

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

This entry was posted in Claire McCaskill, Military Justice, Special Forces, Three Days In August and tagged , , , , by BobMcCarty. Bookmark the permalink.

About BobMcCarty

A native of Enid, Oklahoma, Bob McCarty graduated from Oklahoma State University with a degree in journalism in 1984. During the next two decades, he served stints as an Air Force public affairs officer, a political campaign manager, a technology sales consultant and a public relations professional. Today, Bob spends most of his time researching topics, writing about them and publishing those writings. When he’s not writing online, he’s working as an author. Bob’s first published book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice (October 2011), chronicles the life story and wrongful conviction of Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran. In his second book, THE CLAPPER MEMO (May 2013), Bob connects the dots between a memo signed by James R. Clapper Jr. — the man now serving as our nation’s top intelligence official — and the deaths of dozens of Americans in Afghanistan at the hands of our so-called Afghan “allies” wearing the uniforms of their nation’s military, police and security forces. Bob is married, has three sons and lives in the St. Louis area. Bob is available for media and blogger interviews. Simply drop a comment here, leaving your name, organization, phone number, e-mail address and area of interest. He’ll try to respond as soon as possible.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>