Week of August 6th
The International Herald Tribune, reported last week that “a soldier convicted of rape and murder in an attack on an Iraqi teenager and her family was sentenced to 110 years in prison, with the possibility of parole after 10 years.”
Military prosecutors did not say Spielman took part in the rape or murders but alleged that he went to the house knowing what the others intended to do and served as a lookout. The military prosecutor, Maj. William Fischbach, said Spielman played a "bit part" but stressed he shared responsibility.
Spielman asked jurors for leniency before he was sentenced."I don't really blame my chain of command. I don't really blame anybody," he said quietly. "I could have stopped it. I take responsibility for my actions."
Spielman, 23, received the longest sentence of four soldiers who have been convicted. Three other soldiers pleaded guilty under agreements with prosecutors for their roles in the assault and were given sentences ranging from five to 100 years.
The 110-year also encompassed charges of conspiracy to obstructing justice, arson, wrongfully touching a corpse and drinking.
Cassandra Hernandez, a female Air Force airman was raped, reported her attack and then subsequently became a court-martial defendant, herself.
The woman is charged with one count of committing indecent acts and one count of consuming alcohol as a minor, said base spokesman Ed Drohan. The men received nonjudicial punishments and were granted immunity for their testimony in the woman's trial, according to documents provided by the woman's military defense attorneys."The whole thing is a system failure," said Capt. Christopher A. Eason, one of the woman's lawyers. "This is unprecedented."
The military declined to identify the men or confirm whether they were ever charged because the case is pending, Drohan said. He said military rules prohibit further discussion of the case but said "the Air Force is not attempting to cover up any wrongdoing. Hernandez was drinking at a party and said she was raped by three male airmen.
Hernandez went to the hospital and filed a police report. As a result of stress and “harsh interrogation tactics by the Air Force,” she refused to testify against the airmen.
A variety of new stories, published last week, reported that Jack McClellan, published his attraction to young girls on television news, talk shows and has cooperated with the police.
When Santa Monica police confronted him last week at a Jack in the Box — after he had been spotted in the children's section of the city's main library by a nervous mother who called police — he agreed to let officers photograph him.
On talk shows, he appears unshaven and a bit dazed, but unapologetic about his attraction to little girls, admitting he might have sex with them if it were legal and leaving his interviewers blanched with shock and revulsion.
Los Angeles County Superior Court judge Melvin Sandvig issued a temporary restraining order on Jack McClellan. The restraining order makes it impossible for McClellan to live in California.
The Washington Times reported that William Beebe, a convicted rapist, will be released from the Virginia Department of Corrections on September 17th.
Beebe, 42, of Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in November to one count of aggravated sexual battery for his attack on Liz Seccuro. In March, a judge ordered a 10-year prison sentence with all but 18 months suspended.
Mrs. Seccuro was shocked Tuesday when informed of Beebe's impending release from his parole officer. She said she was never given the opportunity to speak to the parole board.
"Everywhere in America I've seen, the victim has a say," Mrs. Seccuro said. "And that's the problem: Rape victims are voiceless."
Prosecutor Dave Chapman said he knew Beebe would eligible for parole but did not expect such an early release. A release date after serving only six months in prison is surprising.