Though he might be familiar to those in Army legal circles, Maj. Jacob D. Bashore didn’t become known to me until about four years ago when I began investigating the wrongful prosecution and conviction of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart. Much to my surprise, his name surfaced again today — and in a similarly-negative context.
This photo shows an Army depiction of court-martial proceedings in progress, but is unrelated to the individuals mentioned in this article.
Bashore, whose name appears in an early chapter of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, was a captain at the time he appeared on my “radar screen” as the trial counsel who led the prosecution effort against Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran. What troubled me about his work — and became the reason I wrote the book — was that the prosecution was based almost solely on the false claims of rape and kidnapping made by a then-28-year-old German woman with a history of mental illness.
Despite a complete lack of physical evidence and eyewitnesses, and thanks largely to an inept military judge’s decision to proceed with the case after the accuser and German government officials refused to allow her medical records to be introduced to the court, Captain Bashore managed to win convictions on several lesser counts that resulted in Stewart being sentenced to eight years behind bars. Per the book’s title, that military trial took place during three days in August 2009.
Now, fast forward to today when Major Bashore’s name appeared on my radar as the special victim prosecutor assigned to the case of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, an Army officer assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.
Major Martin, who began his military career as an Army private and went on to become an officer and fly a range of attack helicopter missions in combat, is facing dubious allegations that could bring a stunning and disastrous end to his stellar 29-year military career. Moreover, guilty counts on all charges could result in him being sent to prison for 58 years* — a virtual life sentence!
Major Bashore, on the other hand, seems to be pursuing a conviction against Major Martin in much the same way he pursued Stewart six years ago; he seems willing to do and/or say anything to achieve a conviction while satisfying his Army superiors, many of whom seem more focused on keeping liberal politicians — namely U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), two bought-and-paid-for politicians who’ve apparently refused to read Lindsay L. Rodman’s well-written piece, Fostering Constructive Dialogue on Military Sexual Assault, published in Joint Force Quarterly 69 by National Defense University Press — than on achieving just outcomes inside military courtrooms.
Major Martin, however, is not sitting by idly while the Army constructs the casket inside which his career and freedom might be placed if he’s found guilty during a military trial expected to begin in October. In fact, I learned he’s spent close to $100,000 on lawyers and private investigators so far, and their efforts have turned up some incredible things.
Stay tuned for more details as I review documentation related to this monumental injustice that appears to be taking shape at Fort Campbell.
UPDATE 9/28/2015 at 8:53 a.m. Central: Read more about Major Bashore in this Sept. 27 article, Prosecutors Accused of Misconduct, Breach in Controversial Sexual Assault Case Against Army Officer at Fort Campbell. To read other articles about Major Martin’s case, click here.
UPDATE 9/29/2015 AT 9:17 a.m. Central: Major Bashore’s name also appears in this Sept. 28 article, The Fix Is In: Army Judge Denies Defense Motion Concerning Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct.
*UPDATE: After publishing this article, I learned Army prosecutors agreed to limit any possible punishment in this case to 10 years. A sign they have a weak case?”
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