Tag Archives: Sgt Todd Knight

Wife Offers Details About Wrongly-Accused Husband’s Case

Though I’ve written about many military justice cases involving men fighting false sexual assault allegations, I think the words of those directly impacted by the false allegations and military trials that follow carry more weight. Therefore, I’m sharing the content of a message I received today from a woman who went through the nightmare of her military husband’s court-martial and conviction. For reasons that should become obvious to you as you read her words, the names and personal information have been changed to protect their identities.

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Shown above with Bob McCarty are (clockwise from upper left): MSgt. Mike Silva, Air Force; Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, Army; Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Stewart, Army; and Sgt. Todd Knight, Army. These military men represent but a handful of the men who’ve been caught up in the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt.

Hello, Mr. McCarty:

I know you receive messages from many families, so I am not sure if you remember me, but we communicated several years ago about my husband, Phil. Phil and I started dating while he was going through a divorce. He was (wrongfully) convicted the following year when his now ex-wife accused him of forcible sodomy after he and I started dating. Although this tragedy has made things very hard at times, we have had the happiest relationship and marriage for nearly eight years now. Anyhow, I read the article about Todd Knight and the letter from his mother, and it reminded me to reach out to you.

Although it has been very hard, Phil and I have moved on, as much as one can move on, from this tragedy. Much like Todd Knight’s mother, I am amazed at how my husband manages to keep pressing forward. We spent upwards of $40,000 fighting for custody of his children. Unfortunately, every time we would prevail and custody would be awarded to him, his ex-wife would take off in hiding long enough to have jurisdiction moved to another state. We could not financially afford to continue the fight and his ex-wife was starting to punish the kids for wanting to see him, so he made the very difficult decision to stop fighting in the hope that by doing so his ex-wife would stop punishing his daughters. He put his faith in God that he will watch over them and reunite them again someday. We have not seen the kids in over 5 years, sadly. His ex-wife has since accused yet another military member, her now-estranged second husband, of abuse. He is her 3rd service member victim, and we pray that all the children involved (Phil’s and her second husband’s) will somehow make it through this with minimal damage, or at the very least, that some day we can help them through any damage they have suffered as a result of this terrible situation.

The most troubling and heart breaking part of this is hearing so many people tell us that they cannot believe he was convicted. Even the sexual assault therapist he was ordered to meet with during confinement and the law enforcement officers and prosecutor in charge of enforcing his offender registration are in disbelief that he was convicted. His case was literally “he said, she said,” and she was accusing him of assault years after she claimed it occurred (and only after he had started dating someone new), but still he was convicted nonetheless.

On one hand, it makes him feel good to hear that people who are actually trained and experienced with these sort of matters truly believe in his innocence. On the other hand, it is a hard thing to swallow because, even in spite of that, there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Having this weighing over his head and losing out a on a relationship with his children are things that will always weigh heavy on his heart (their birthdays, father’s day and holidays are still very solemn for him), but we have moved on as much as one can from this.

Phil finally has a great job — a career he loves. We have a beautiful home and are starting a family. I suppose that is my intention of telling you all this — to let other families, other service members effected in this way know that they should continue to fight, but in any case, there is hope at rebuilding life after this kind tragedy. If ever we can provide support or a kind ear to other service members or families effected in this way, please feel free to tell them they may contact us.

Very best,
Name withheld

The story told in the letter above bears many striking similarities to other military justice cases I’ve followed during the four years since the release of Three Days In August, a nonfiction book in which I chronicle the life story and wrongful conviction of a highly-decorated combat veteran and elite Green Beret on bogus sexual assault allegations.

Stay tuned for more details about this story as I’m working to obtain copies of the Record of Trial and other documents related to this case. Inexplicably, according to the couple involved, the military branch in which he served said the ROT was “classified” and refused to give him a copy of it upon request. As incredible as that seems, nothing surprises me anymore when it’s related to the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt.

UPDATE 11/6/2015 at Noon Central:  Though I’ve promised not to reveal the names of the players involved in the case outlined above, I located the ex-wife/accuser of “Phil” and discovered she maintains a presence on several social media platforms and has more than one pornographic web site as part of a business that uses sex-related words and imagery as its primary products. How the military justice system sided with her is beyond comprehension!

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Mom Pens Heartfelt Message About Son’s Bogus Conviction

After publishing an article Thursday afternoon about the Army’s prosecution of Sgt. Todd Knight on allegations he raped a woman while stationed in Germany, I shared a link to the article with Knight’s mother, Teresa McQueen, and she replied about two hours later with a heartfelt message about the chain of events during which her son was found guilty of sexual assault, sentenced to one year in prison, a loss of rank to the lowest enlisted grade and, upon completion of his sentence, a dishonorable discharge and a life spent as a convicted sex offender. Below, with her permission, I share her reply:

Click on image above to read article.

Click on image above to read article.

Wow.  I can’t believe that these women are allowed to continue with their daily lives as if they did not ruin a person’s career and life. I was so proud of my son for choosing to join the military. His love of the military is what inspired his younger two siblings to join the military. Todd has suffered so much as a result of this.  Each year he is forced to go through the process of registering as a sex offender which is especially difficult for him since he knows that the alleged victim lied. He is forced to commute well over an hour a day to work — and that is with good traffic — because its easier for him to live in a more rural area.

Earlier this month, the military started garnishing his paycheck to repay the reenlistment bonus he was given prior to this incident. So now, depending on how much overtime he works, approximately $400 is taken out of each of his paychecks until a balance of $20,000 is paid.  He didn’t even get $20,000 as an enlistment bonus which leads us to believe the military is actually charging him interest!

This photo shows Todd Knight in his Army uniform prior to being accused of rape and convicted on a lesser charge.

This photo shows Todd Knight in his Army uniform prior to being accused of rape and convicted on a lesser charge.

To be quite honest, I do not know how Todd pushes through, day after day, but he does.  He is such a “glass half full” person and is always trying to help others.  In fact, sadly, it is he who is constantly consoling me about this whole situation.  I have never felt so powerless in my life.  I wish you could have been at Todd’s court-martial.  He was guilty before the trial even began.  As his family, we had to watch how his command turned on him.  While food and water was brought to the alleged victim, Todd, who was supposed to have been considered innocent at that time, and his family (myself, his sister and step-father), were forced to go without eating lest we not make it back in time for when the trial resumed.  They knew we did not have a vehicle and were dependent on them for a ride.

However, what I found most disturbing was that we were not allowed in the courtroom during Todd’s trial. So we could not give him the support of at least seeing a friendly face and knowing that he was not in this alone. The alleged victim was allowed to be in the courtroom with one of her friends. I can only imagine, the panel probably believed he was such a terrible person (that) his own family did not feel it was necessary to be with him during this terrible ordeal.

His lawyer told me repeatedly prior to the trial, that I needed to prepare myself because, short of the alleged victim retracting her story at trial, he would be convicted. Having a law degree myself (although not being familiar with criminal law and having a father who is a public defender), never in my wildest dreams did I think they would actually convict him based on the evidence presented at trial. Little did I know that all it takes is to be accused of sexual assault.  Once you are accused, it’s a done deal. There is no “innocent until proven guilty.” It’s ‘You’re guilty, and we will just see how much time you will get.’”

When Todd began serving his sentence, his apartment was literally a ‘free for all,’ thanks to his immediate superiors, the people who were supposed to be making sure his apartment was packed up and his belongs shipped to me in California. Because I believed his superiors were looking out for “one of their own,” I never bothered to go through any of the crates that were now being kept in storage until Todd’s release. It was not until about a month before Todd was scheduled to be released that I visited the storage unit to retrieve and wash his clothes so that he would have some form of normalcy by having his own things. Also, he told me he had a few suits which he had had tailored and should have been in (the storage unit). Because he had an interview scheduled for the week following his return, I wanted to have (the suits) dry cleaned.

It was with horror that I saw many of the things that were shipped were either not his or basically just trash. None of the items Todd said should have been shipped to me were included in that shipment. His computer was gone. His laptop was gone. His camcorder was gone. All of his computer software, his PS4 and its games were gone. His new flat screen TV was gone. There was not one piece of furniture delivered. As God is my witness, there wasn’t even one pair of shoes included in that shipment. Anyone who knows Todd knows he is a clothes and shoe hoarder.  Todd was single, he liked nice things, and he bought nice things. They took everything.  After a lot of complaining, they finally sent a second shipment of kitchenware and an old broken TV Todd actually did tell his command they could have.

At one point, I even learned one of his superiors was driving around in Todd’s car that was supposed to have been sold and the money given to Todd. After many calls to that guy and his superior, I was finally able to at least get something in writing which released Todd from any liability should someone have an accident in that vehicle.

Although Todd is trying to get on with his life and stay positive, there is always something — like the garnishment — that seems to make him move back five or six steps. He finally has a job that he loves and the people love him. However, now everyone knows that something is going on in Todd’s life, because his paychecks are being garnished by the military.

It’s very upsetting to me as I am sure you can imagine. No one deserves to have something like this happen to them. Everyone deserves a fair trial. Do you know that after Todd’s conviction, in order to try to get the least amount of time as possible, they actually expected him to apologize to the alleged victim. Although at the time, believing he would end up with more like seven years, I encouraged Todd to just say what they wanted him to say if it meant he would get less time. But I must admit, Todd stuck to his guns and refused to apologize for something he did not do.

This whole thing has been a nightmare for me, and I’m not even the person who had to serve time and go through God only knows what while in prison. I just wish the military would rethink how they approach accusations of sexual assault. The accused is not guilty simply because the accuser says he is. With Todd’s investigation, they did not care if he was innocent. Their entire investigation stemmed on gathering only that evidence that would aid the prosecution in obtaining a guilty verdict, regardless of whether the accuser was guilty or not.

Sorry for the long rant. I am just heartbroken over this whole thing.

Stay tuned for updates on this case and other military justice cases I’m following.

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