The man in charge of prosecuting soldiers accused of sexual assault, has been accused of sexual assault. Lt. Colonel Joseph “Jay” Morse was suspended from his position in the United States Army after being accused of groping. Within the Army, Morse served as a lawyer who prosecuted soldiers accused of sexual assault. The accusations against him reflect the deep-seated hypocrisy in the military as well as how ingrained rape culture has become in the American military.
Here is what you need to know about this emerging scandal:
1. He Is Accused a Groping a Fellow Lawyer at a Sexual Assault Conference
Further adding to the sickening irony, the alleged assault occurred at a sexual assault legal conference.
According to Stars and Stripes, a fellow lawyer who worked for Morse has brought accusations that over two years ago at the conference, he attempted to grope and kiss her against her will.
The woman alleged that Morse assaulted her in a hotel room at a 2011 conference in Alexandria, Virginia.
2. He Was the Army’s Chief Prosecutor of Sex Crimes
According to his official military bio, until his suspension, Morse served as the Chief of the Trial Counsel Assistance Program, where he prosecuted crimes having to do with sexual assault, domestic assault and children as victims.
He managed 23 “Special Victim Prosecutors” who focused on the prosecution of military personnel accused of sexual assault.
3. He Prosecuted Mass-Murderer Robert Bales
In 2012, Morse was named the lead prosecutor in the case of Robert Bales, an Army staff sergeant who killed 16 Afghan civilians in an event now known as the ‘Kandahar Massacre.”
Morse managed to get Bales convicted of the killings. Bales was found guilty military panel after two hours of deliberation and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
4. Sexual Assaults in the Military Are Out of Control
A study about sexual assault in the military found that between 2012 to 2013, there were 3,553 reported sexual assaults, a 46 percent increase of the amount reported the previous year.
The problem has inspired a number of pieces of legislation including more protective measures for victims of sexual assault and a circumvention of an officer’s ability to overturn a conviction.
5. A Brigadier General Accused of Forced Oral Sex Got a 15-Year Sentence Today
On Thursday, March 6, Brig. General Jeffery Sinclair, 51, pleaded guilty to three lesser charges in a deal to escape sexual assault charges. According to the AP, Sinclair, who could have been spending life in prison, instead will serve 15 years for improper relationships, adultery, possessing pornography, and conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman.
Despite the guilty plea, prosecutors will continue to fight to convict Sinclair on more serious charges.
He is accused of twice forcing a female soldier, who was more than 20 years his junior, to preform oral sex.