Tag Archives: Stuttgart

Though Facing Possibility of Life Sentence on Bogus Charges, Green Beret Refused to Violate Code of Conduct During Trial

On trial for his freedom and facing the possibility of a life sentence six years ago, Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart refused to violate his Code of Conduct as a member of the Army’s elite Special Forces unit known as the Green Berets.

Kelly A. Stewart returns from a mission in Iraq.

Kelly A. Stewart returns from a mission in Iraq.

At one point during his two-day trial inside a U.S. military courtroom in Germany, the trial counsel asked Stewart questions about friendships he had established in Germany since his August 2008 arrival in the Stuttgart area. Soon after, the highly-decorated combat veteran’s time on the witness stand turned into a somewhat-heated exchange during which it appeared the trial counsel was trying to paint Stewart as a master manipulator whose Special Forces training helped him know how to control a person like his accuser.

Stewart’s accuser was a then-28-year-old German woman. On Nov. 7, 2008, she accused him of having raped and kidnapped her two and a half months earlier during a one-night stand that ended in his hotel room in Sindelfingen, Germany. Nine months after he was charged, Stewart found himself convicted at court-martial on multiple charges — including kidnapping, forcible sodomy and aggravated sexual assault of a woman — based almost entirely on the testimony of his accuser.

Below is an excerpt from my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, in which I chronicle the life story, wrongful prosecution and wrongful conviction of Stewart. In it, I highlight the exchange between Stewart and the trial counsel that shows how the accused soldier refused to violate his Code of Conduct [Note: CDC = Criminal Defense Counsel; TC = Trial Counsel; MJ = Military Judge; WIT = Witness; SERE = Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape Training]:

Q. And you were brought to Germany to be an instructor in the survival division?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you would consider yourself a–this is somewhat subjective, but a highly trained soldier being a Special Forces soldier?
A. Can you repeat the question, sir?

Q. Being a Special Forces soldier, you would consider yourself highly trained? You have more training than the average soldier in combat-type stuff?
A. Sir, I can’t talk about other soldiers, for instance, the panel is here, their experiences versus mine, I’m not qualified to talk about–

Q. I’m not asking–
A. –I can tell you that I have training in the United States Army.

Q. You don’t consider yourself highly trained?
A. I consider myself trained by the Army, sir.

Q. Okay, you’ve gone through the “Q” Course?
A. Yes, sir, I have.

Q. You’ve gone to the Target Interdiction Course?
A. Yes, I have.

Q. And that trained you how to be a sniper?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Have you gone through SERE training?
A. Yes, I have, sir.

Q. And not just SERE training, but the high-risk SERE training?
A. Yes, sir, I have.

Q. And that course–those courses are all fairly intense, right?
A. Yes, sir,

Q. Much more intense than your basic training, AIT, your average BNCOC/ANCOC-type courses, is that correct?
A. Any discussions on the details of my training–

Q. Just asking if they’re intense, Sergeant.
A. Sir, I’m trying to answer the question. Any details or my opinions about any of the training that I have attended in the United States Special Forces Qualification Course, I’m not authorized to discuss with you. Now, if in closed session, the judge would like to ask me those questions, I might be able to discuss it with him, but I myself have been instructed, and I have a PAO guy, any of my training I’m not at liberty to discuss with anybody.

Q. So you can’t say that those courses are mentally challenging?
A. I think any courses in the United States Army are mentally challenging, sir.

Q. You can’t say that they’re psychologically tough?
A. I think Basic Training was psychologically tough on me, sir.

Q. Now I pulled this off of the internet, this is open-source information I’m going to ask you about.
A. Okay, sir.

CDC: Objection, Your Honor, to that testimony by the government.

TC: I’m not getting answers to my questions, Your Honor, I’ve got to preface–if he’s going to refuse to answer my questions, I’ve got to tell him where I’m getting this stuff if he’s going to invoke his Special Forces training to prevent him from answering questions or policy, I’m sorry.

MJ: Objection overruled. Ask the question.

Q. At the SERE course you’re taught how to resist violent captors, is that correct?
A. Again, sir, unless I’m authorized by the (Special Operations Command Europe) Public Affairs Officer, I can’t discuss the training that I received at the SERE-level C School.

Q. You’re taught how to resist torture?
A. Again, sir–

Q. We’re going to go through this, so, that’s fine–
A. No, again, sir, I don’t know what I’m authorized to discuss with you because I’m not the releasing authority of my training.

Q. I got this off of Wikipedia.com.

CDC: Objection, Your Honor, that is not evidence before the court, that is merely an assertion by counsel.

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Click on image above to order book.

TC: And the accused will not answer my questions.

MJ: Objection sustained. Ask the question, if the accused answers he answers.

Q. You were taught how to resist torture?
A. I was taught to resist and to return with honor.

Q. You were taught how to resist interrogation techniques?
A. Again, I was taught to resist and to return with honor.

Q. You were taught to resist exploitation, isn’t that correct?
A. I was taught to return with honor, sir.

Q. And you were taught how to combat psychological ploys of your captors, isn’t that correct?
A. Could you rephrase the question, sir?

Q. You were taught how to combat psychological ploys of your captor?
A. Again, any teachings, techniques, plans, or policies that that school has I’m not authorized to discuss with anybody in here, because this is an open forum.

WIT: And if the questions are going to continue down that road, Your Honor, I’d ask that it be at a closed session because currently we are in an open session with an open court and I am not the approving authority or the releasing authority of the information or training that I received there.

The above is only one snippet from his military trial. To learn more, read the other articles I’ve written about the case and read some of the endorsements of the book. To fully understand why I remain so passionate about wanting to see justice for this TOP ONE PERCENT SOLDIER, you’ll have to read the whole book. Three Days In August​ is available in paperback and eBook at Amazon.com. Signed copies are available as well.

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. Thanks in advance!

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Army Green Beret Describes Thinking After Bogus Conviction

After serving multiple Special Forces combat tours in Iraq, Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart was assigned to instructor duty in Germany in August 2008.  Within a year of his arrival there, the Green Beret’s career was in shambles, his life a wreck.  He had been wrongly-convicted by a court-martial panel of multiple offenses following allegations by a German woman that he had raped and kidnapped her in a Stuttgart hotel room.

Click on image above to order book.

Click on image above to order book.

Below, in an excerpt from my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, Stewart describes his thinking after the verdict was announced just before midnight Aug. 19, 2009:

“I wasn’t going to go to prison and have my kids have to go through having their dad in prison and my wife having to stand by my side and go without a husband for years—and, at that time, I didn’t know the length of the years,” said Stewart, a Special Forces combat medic and Level One-trained sniper. “I didn’t know the length of my sentence; I just knew that I was found guilty.”

That’s when he made a decision.

To find out what decision Stewart made before finding out how much time he would spend behind bars, order a copy of Three Days In August.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:17 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Soldiers Experience Vastly Different Court-Martial Outcomes

After comparing the outcomes of two Army court-martial cases that took place in Stuttgart, Germany, in recent years, I can’t help but smell a rat in the military justice system.

This image shows the front of the hotel in Stuttgart where the alleged crimes involving Stewart took place.

This image shows the front of the hotel in Stuttgart where the alleged crimes involving Stewart took place.

One case involved Staff Sgt. Justin Wolfschlag, a military police dog handler who, according to a Stars and Stripes article Thursday, was found guilty of maltreatment of a subordinate but not guilty of a sexual assault charge stemming from his accuser’s claim that he made her perform oral sex on him, similar to some of the content seen on channels such as Tubev Sex and other adult entertainment sources. Members of the court-martial panel acquitted Wolfschlag on the more serious charge after Wolfschlag’s defense team maintained the oral sex and exposure never happened and argued there was no physical evidence presented to support the allegations.

Sergeant Wolfschlag was sentenced Thursday to 60 days’ hard labor and busted down two pay grades but, it appears, will be allowed to remain in the Army.

The other case involved Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a highly-decorated combat veteran and member of the elite Green Berets, who was accused in November 2008 of rape and kidnapping by a then-28-year-old German woman. Despite the lack of any physical evidence or witnesses and his accuser’s refusal to provide her mental health records — including details of her four-month stay in a psychiatric care facility — to the court, he was found guilty on several sexual assault-related charges, but not rape or kidnapping. Most importantly, he never admitted guilt to any of the charges against him.

Sergeant Stewart was stripped of his Special Forces tab and sentenced to eight years in prison. His stellar career as a combat medic and Level One sniper was brought to a halt by unproven charges, Stewart now lives as a convicted sex offender, based largely on the testimony of a German woman who, according to three of her friends who testified during a post-trial hearing, lied repeatedly on the witness stand during the court-martial.

My very-informed opinion is that Sergeant — err, wait — Private Wolfschlag got off easier than Stewart, largely because: (1) he was not an SF Soldier facing a court-martial panel made up of non-SF Soldiers who had recently served a deployment with the lead prosecutor as their legal officer; and (2) his accuser was an American instead of a German national who could not be held accountable by the military court for anything she said — or didn’t say — on the witness stand and could not be compelled to provide her mental health records to the court.

Of course, there is a lot more to Stewart’s story.

To read other posts about Stewart’s case, click here.

To understand the case fully, order a copy of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Miraculous Memory or Coaching of a Witness?

One of the key witnesses for the prosecution during the three-day court-martial of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, a highly-decorated combat veteran and Green Beret, was long-time German taxi cab driver Monika Haug.

This is the front of the hotel where the alleged crimes took place.

This is the front of the hotel where the alleged crimes took place.

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?

To learn more about that question and others that surfaced in this case of military justice gone awry, order a copy of Three Days In August.  [WARNING: This book is guaranteed to make your blood boil.]

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Prosecutor Paints Green Beret As Master Manipulator

The government’s cross-examination of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart on Day Two of his court-martial began with the trial counsel asking him questions about friendships he had established in Germany since his August 2008 arrival in the Stuttgart area.  Before long, however, it turned into a somewhat-heated exchange—something Stewart, a member of the Army’s elite Green Beret fraternity, later described as being similar to a courtroom scene from the movie, A Few Good Men.

"A Few Good Men"

“A Few Good Men”

In that scene, a Marine colonel (Jack Nicholson) on the witness stand was accused by a young Navy defense attorney (Tom Cruise) of ordering a “Code Red”—an illegal beating of a Marine by members of his platoon that resulted in his death and a subsequent cover-up.  Several minutes of heated exchange between the officers resulted in the colonel finally losing his cool and admitting he ordered the attack.

“Every schooling and every assessment that the military has done on me to assess that I’m stable,” Stewart said, “and that I’m trusted with national security issues and that I can be trusted to make the right, conscious decisions, now is being turned around (so that) every one of those (are) predatory skills that I used to go after Miss Heinrich.”

Still, the trial counsel tried to paint Stewart, a man who had risen into the top three percent of the Army, as a master manipulator whose SF training helped him know how to control a person like his accuser, Greta J. Heinrich*.

To read blow-by-blow details of Stewart’s testimony order a copy of the book, Three Days In August.

*Not the accuser’s real name.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.