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Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin Blames Rape Victim in Letter, Defends Overturning Rape Conviction

A letter that Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin wrote to Air Force Secretary Michael Donley to defend his decision to overturn the sexual assault conviction of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson was uploaded to on Wednesday.

Back in March, Lt. Gen. Franklin overturned the conviction and allowed Lt. Col. Wilkerson to return to active service in the U.S. Air Force, reported

In his letter, according to, Lt. Gen. Franklin blamed the victim for turning down offers to be driven home from a party at Lt. Col. Wilkerson's house.

Lt. Gen. Franklin also blamed the victim for not accurately describing the house layout.

He also doubted the testimony of the friend who took the victim to the hospital the next day.

Also in the letter, Lt. Gen. Franklin gushed that Lt. Col.Wilkerson was a great father and claimed how it would be "incongruent" for Lt. Col.Wilkerson to leave his wife in bed upstairs, go downstairs and rape a sleeping woman, which is exactly what he was convicted by a jury of doing.

Lt. Gen. Franklin did admit that Lt. Col Wilkerson didn't pass a polygraph test and that his testimony conflicted with his own wife's.

“As I have previously stated, after considering all matters in the entire record of the trial, I hold a genuine and reasonable doubt that Lt. Col. Wilkerson committed the crime of sexual assault,” Lt. Gen. Franklin wrote.

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Rep. Michael Turner, (R-OH) slammed Lt. Gen. Franklin today.

“This explanation crystalizes exactly why the convening authority should not have the unilateral ability to overturn a jury verdict, and why we need legislation that restricts their ability to do so,” Sen. McCaskill said in a statement.

"Franklin clearly substituted his own independent judgment for that of the convened fact-finding panel," said Rep.Turner. "He took some information that was outside of the proceeding and not deemed credible and used his own judgment of what to accept. In the end he concludes that he fully believes Colonel Wilkerson's statement of events, even though the colonel refused to testify and failed a polygraph."



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