Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Success Story

As I alluded in my last post, last week CPT Dusty Kawai helped his ANA achieve a huge success. I'm sure I'll get some of the details wrong but I'll try to hit the highlights as they were told to MG Black.

In January, as one of the soldiers was leaving an office, he was grabbed from behind and felt a cloth being placed over his mouth. When he awoke, he was being raped by the Brigade Commander, a LTC. After the assault was over, the soldier left the office, feeling sick from the drug he was administered as well in pain from the ordeal. (I'm trying to spare you the details.) He reported to a friend or medic. He was immediately examined and the physical evidence confirmed that he had been raped. He was also able to provide additional physical evidence that confirmed what had happened. (Again, trying to spare you the gross details.) Statements were taken by the victim and those who witnessed and observed the victim after the rape.

In the ANA, when a crime is reported, the Commander must initiate an investigation. In this case, the 2-star ANA General did not want to do anything so he collected the statements and hid them in his office so Dusty and the legal folks had no idea this had taken place.

A few weeks/months later, one of the soldiers snuck into the General's office, copied the statements, put them back and then forwarded the investigation up to the JAG's office at the Ministry of Defense (MoD). At that point, the nation's top JAG, BG Shir, ordered that an investigation be done.

When the MG found out about, he attempted to thwart the investigation by sending the LTC to a course at the KMTC. He also threatened to have Dusty fired for pursuing this investigation. I'm not sure why the ANA general thought he could fire the US ETT but he threatened Dusty anyway. Little does he know... Anyway, they finally got the LTC back from the KMTC and restricted him to base. Boy was he unhappy.

Again, I'm a little sketchy on the details, but as I remember, the only way they were able to get the official investigation going was when the deputy commander ordered the investigation take place. He did it when the MG was gone. At least that's how I remember it.

Then, when it was time for the investigation to begin, the MG would not authorize the ANA any vehicles in order to go to the location to conduct the investigation. So Dusty put together a US convoy and personally went down with the prosecutor, defense counsel and investigators to conduct this investigation.

That's one thing Dusty has really excelled at. He's gone with the investigators on so many of the investigations. He's really trained his ANA well on how to conduct a thorough criminal investigation. During his recounting of his experience someone asked him if he was ever afraid or felt threatened. He said that there have been several times when he's slept with his 9M on his chest because he was sleeping right in the middle of those he was investigating. (MG Black had asked me about and said his biggest concern for us was our safety. I leaned over to him and told him that I'd never heard Dusty tell me that before.) Anyway, I digress.

Dusty said that they found the victim who naturally had felt that nothing was being done with this case. He felt that like so many other cases, this one was going to be hidden away because the criminal was a senior ranking officer. Dusty rose to the challenge.

A terrific investigation was done. The key witnesses were protected so that they wouldn't be intimidated into changing their story. The defendant was restricted to base, as I said, and his movements were monitored so that he could not intimidate the witnesses. All the necessary court proceedings were done, the procedures were followed to the "T", the judges made all the right calls and the dirt-bag was convicted. He got 5 years in prison.

I know I've left out a lot of the details but believe me when I say that this case would never have been prosecuted so successfully had Dusty not been there every step of the way.

That's what we stressed with MG Black. With the Akhtar case and our rape case (8 year conviction), none of this would have been possible had the mentors not been there. There are two Corps here in the country that don't have JAGs and they have cases just like this that are not going anywhere because there is no ETT presence. I'm hoping that he'll be able to make it happen that more JAGs can get assigned to these positions.

Anyway, just wanted to share the story of his success.

Way to go Dusty!!


Rejenia said...

Keep up the good work. I am so proud we have people like you and the group you work with serving us. I want you to know I appreciate all you are doing, and am glad you take the time to tell the stories.

Whitney said...

Brother Church,
It's Whitney Hale (Chicago) and I was home for Memorial Day weekend for my brother's graduation at Timpanogos. What a treat to see Seth and you! Congrats to Seth and how fun that you were able to be there. There was a lot of teary eyed women around me. I was so proud to know you and your wonderful family. We hope you have a great summer!
Whitney & Brandon Hale