August 29, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – The Federal Practice Group announces that a U.S. Army military judge in Afghanistan has forced a young African American female soldier to undergo trial without her counsel, access to exculpatory evidence, access to witnesses, and expert witness assistance. Specialist Conner is a young soldier who has been pushed into trial by a rogue military judge and a command that has demonstrated a complete lack of consideration for her mental wellbeing. The Federal Practice Group founder, Eric Montalvo, represents Specialist Conner. One of the senior medical professionals serving in Afghanistan determined that Specialist Conner required a medevac and she instead was sent to a court martial without counsel. Specialist Conner had been sexually harassed in the unit and when that was reported her situation began to deteriorate into retribution by specific command members. The Battalion Commander attempted to intervene and protect Specialist Conner and the Battalion Commander was relieved for cause (fired) for engaging in this effort.
On August 28, 2012 Specialist Conner was walked into a court room and asked about her choice of counsel. The military judge informed her that she was representing herself and then ordered a previously fired military defense counsel to put on a defense. When the military counsel attempted to do so he was summarily overruled by the military judge intent on obtaining nothing but a conviction. One of the charges is assault for throwing a boot in the middle of the night to wake up a fellow soldier due to an acute illness. Another charge is a failure to throw out the trash in her office. She is exposed to 1 year of confinement, reduction to the lowest pay grade, forfeiture of pay and allowances, a bad conduct discharge and a federal conviction.
According to Mr. Montalvo: “I find it beyond reprehensible that an officer of the court and a military judge charged with upholding the law would so openly and notoriously abandon the basic Constitutional principles that our young men and women are shedding blood over and for such pettiness. This military judge represents everything that is wrong with our current military justice system. If this was your son or daughter in the middle of Afghanistan is this how you believe they should be treated? This deliberate and abusive disregard for the rule of law is astonishing and should outrage all Americans who believe that judges are supposed to ensure that justice is served and not perform as another prosecutor in the court room or in this case a persecutor. A “Lynch Mob” is defined as a mob that kills a person for some presumed offense without legal authority. If this is not a lynch mob I don’t know what is.”
Because of an editing error the crime committed was a sexual assault not rape as previously stated. (9/6/12)