Tag Archives: evidence

Flashback: Stars and Stripes Reporter Fails To Do Her Job

Unlike most people who read reporter Nancy Montgomery‘s article two years ago this week in Stars and Stripes, I noticed something terribly wrong in some of the comments attributed to German police detective Daniel Lorch.  His words conflicted with the real-life events in my book, Three Days In August, which chronicles the story of former Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart and the military justice debacle that ended his stellar career as a Green Beret and landed him behind bars at Fort Leavenworth.

Click image above to order book.

Click image above to order book.

About halfway into her article, Montgomery shared comments made by Detective Lorch about his experience as an investigator and his personal opinion “that (Stewart) was guilty” of a variety of sexual assault-related charges stemming from a one-night stand involving the highly-decorated combat veteran and a then-28-year-old German woman.  The reporter did not, however, include any comments by the detective about the complete lack of physical evidence and eyewitnesses to the alleged crimes.

Montgomery also attributed a statement to the detective about a taxi driver being among the people (plural) who had allegedly seen Stewart’s accuser the morning she left his hotel and later provided corroborating trial testimony.  Apparently, the reporter did not ask the detective for details about those people. Nor did she ask about their testimony during the trial.  Why?  Because, contrary to what the detective must have told her, only the taxi driver testified as a witness during the trail.  Additional witnesses to her departure from the hotel could not be found.

Finally, Montgomery quoted Detective Lorch on the matter of what the taxi driver allegedly saw when she picked up the accuser outside Stewart’s hotel:

“He described, very detailed, very clearly, her physical damage,” Lorch said. “He was sure something very bad had happened to this woman.”

The detective repeatedly referred to the taxi driver in the masculine sense when, in reality, the taxi driver was Monika Haug, a middle-age woman with memory issues.  I highlighted those issues in the book and, more recently, in a post from which the excerpt below appears:

During questioning six months before the trial, according to official documents, Haug told German police officials, “I’m sorry I don’t see her in front of my eyes anymore right now,” later adding, “I believe she had blonde dyed hair.  I don’t remember her clothing or age right now anymore.”

During the trial one year after she had allegedly picked up Stewart’s 28-year-old accuser in front of the Stuttgart-Marriott Hotel in Sindelfingen, Germany, Haug was able to remember accurate details about Stewart’s accuser (i.e., that she was wearing knee-high boots, had long black hair, etc.) that she wasn’t able to remember when it should have been fresh on her mind.  A miracle perhaps or was it coaching by prosecutors that helped Haug “improve” her memory?

Montgomery’s article came 24 days after she had contacted me via email, informing me that she was interested in doing a story about the latest development in the Stewart case, had read my website and wanted to talk.

In a written reply to Montgomery, I told her I had spent a lot of time one year earlier with John Vandiver, a Stuttgart-based Stripes reporter, and that the effort — via phone and email — had yielded not a single story.  Furthermore, I told her, I cited my experience with Vandiver — several emails back and forth plus phone interviews, but no stories — when telling her I wasn’t excited about speaking with Stripes.

Apparently, Montgomery spoke with Vandiver and made no further attempts to obtain my input.  In fact, her name did not appear on my radar again until Stripes published her report about the status of Stewart’s appeals process minus any mention of my name and the name of my book and, more importantly, without several critical details about the case.

If you’re interested in the details of how the military justice system railroaded an elite Special Forces Soldier, read Three Days In August.  Based on 18 months of research, interviews with the key players and access to the actual Record of Trial, this book is available in paperback and ebook versions here.

For a snapshot of Stewart’s situation today and to find out how you can help, read this letter and/or read this recent article. Thanks in advance!

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:15 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Rape Report Arrives 15 Months After FOIA Request Made

Today, after waiting almost 15 months, I received a response to the Freedom of Information Act request to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The document I received — a copy of a research report written by Dr. Charles P. McDowell about false rape allegations in the military — came in response to my request, dated May 24, 2013.

Unfortunately, the report came to me in the form of a PDF that is unlike any other PDF I’ve ever tried to upload to this site. In short, it will not upload, and I’m not about to retype it all. Instead, I’ll share the report’s conclusions first and then something else. Before we proceed, this matter contains issues that are a difficult subject to cross, both emotionally and legally, which is why it is vital for legal firm like lamber goodnow to cover the proceedings as a legal team will be better equipped to navigate the law side of the situation. Now, let’s move on to the document. First, the conclusions:

CONCLUSIONS

False allegations of rape are frequently not recognized as such by investigators and are almost totally neglected in the professional literature. The reason for this seems obvious, these are acts which are designed to appear plausible. The key to understanding false allegations lies in determining how the false allegation “helps” the claimant manipulate, control or recoup. Therefore, it is the context in which the allegation occurs that provides the framework for understanding the dynamics of the case. It is also important to remember that many of the defense mechanisms used in false allegations may also be found in genuine rapes. A final word of caution: even those who are emotionally prone to make a false allegation can be raped. Basic principles of police professionalism require that officers who investigate rapes remain objective and compassionate, otherwise the veracity of an allegation may never be known.

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Click image above to order book.

After reading the study, I shared it with CMSgt. John Stewart (USAF Ret.), father of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the Green Beret whose life and wrongful prosecution is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August. In turn, Chief Stewart read it and replied with several worthwhile observations about how this report’s findings tie to the case of his son who was prosecuted on false rape and kidnapping allegations.

Regarding portions of the report that appear on pages 68 and beyond, he wrote several worthwhile comments. They appear below after the study points which appear in bold below:

“At the point in a rape investigation when the allegation itself becomes suspect, efforts should focus on the validity of the claim.” — A review of steps taken by the German police investigators and by the Army’s investigators clearly indicate total failure to establish validity of the victims claim. Despite statements by friends, co-workers and an Army appointed counselor to the victim indicating repeated perjury during the trial and during pre-trial statements, no action was taken to further investigate the possibility the “victim” had, indeed, been assaulted. Particularly in light of the facts that there were no witnesses, a clear ability to telephone for help or escape the room after the assault, the fact the “victim” provided her telephone number to the accused after-the-fact to establish further relationships, the fact the “victim” told her best friend after the rendezvous that she had “finally met her man,” etc., etc.

“Variables frequently associated with reports of false allegations include…the complaint is not timely…” — It was nearly three months before the “victim” filed the charges.

“Law enforcement authorities correctly place a high priority on physical evidence which supports an allegation.” — There was no physical evidence, whatsoever, that any assault took place. No signs of a struggle, no sounds of distress heard in neighboring rooms by other military personnel, no evidence of physical injury during an unrelated physician’s visit in the next few days despite statements of the victim she had been bitten and bruised, and there was a complete absence of confirming serological evidence.

“In general, this information suggests that the victim has experienced numerous personal problems in her life and that her ability to cope is impaired…Victim has history of mental or emotional problems…” — Despite information provided to investigators regarding the probability the “victim” had been institutionalized for possible mental health issues, this information could not be introduced into the trial phase due to the German government’s refusal to release medical records of the “victim”. This was an extremely key issue to proving innocence of the accused and fell completely by the wayside leading to a conviction without merit.

“False allegations of rape are frequently not recognized as such by investigators and are almost totally neglected…The key to understanding false allegation lies in determining how the false allegation ‘helps’ the claimant manipulate, control or recoup.” — In the instance of this accusation and trial findings, there was complete negligence on the part of American and German investigators.

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Click image above to order book.

After reading Chief Stewart’s words above, you might think they are merely those of a father trying to save his son. I know I did, and I was wrong.

Find out why by reading Three Days In August, a book based on my thorough review of the Record of Trial, extensive interviews with the people involved and the hard-hitting kind of investigative reporting upon which I’ve staked my reputation. Order a copy of Three Days In August today!

To read other posts about the book, click here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.