Fighting for the truth . . . exposing the corrupt
ON-AIR PLEA FOR FAIR TRIAL
URGES SEN. SUSAN COLLINS OF MAINE
TO GET INVOLVED IF SHE DOES, WILL
JERRY TILTON GET JUSTICE AT LAST?
In an unprecedented plea over a network of Maine radio stations, MAJ Glenn MacDonald, USAR (Ret), editor-in-chief of MilitaryCorruption.com, urged Sen. Susan Collins to help obtain justice for one of her military constituents.
Former Staff Sergeant Jerry Tilton, a career Air Force NCO, was convicted of molesting one of his sons in a court-martial proceeding which featured coaching witnesses to change testimony and a rush to judgment conviction that usually typifies such proceedings.
MacDonald made his plea to Maines junior senator up for reelection this year live on the air while a guest on the popular Maine in the Morning program aired over WVOM in Bangor and a number of affiliated stations across Maine.
Its the first time I can recall anything like it, said the highly-respected Norman Gallant of Augusta, former executive secretary of the Maine Association of Broadcasters. Such a heart-felt, straight-forward plea for justice should elicit some kind of response from Sen. Collins.
Mrs. Jane Hellegers of North Whitefield, Maine told MilitaryCorruption.com she hoped that Sen. Collins would contact Air Force officials and see if indeed Tilton got a fair trial. Thats the least she could do, said Hellegers, a faithful listener to Maine in the Morning, hosted by the dynamic duo of Eric Leimbach and Mike Violette.
That sentiment was shared by many of our readers in Maine most whom will be voting in the November general election. Collins is facing a tough fight from Democratic candidate Chellie Pingree, a former state senator from North Haven, Maine.
Most of the time politicians dont want to get involved in military cases because they dont understand how the so-called Uniform Code of Military Justice works; and secondly, because there is little political upside to it, Philip Dec of Monmouth, Maine told MilitaryCorruption.com.
I will be curious to see if Sen. Collins will use her office to investigate the injustice suffered by Jerry Tilton, he said. "I certainly hope so. My vote, in great measure, will be decided on whether or not she bothers to help one of her constituents obtain a new and fair trial.
Similar sentiments were expressed by dozens of other Pine Tree State voters who contacted MilitaryCorruption.com. The question is: can Sen. Collins afford to ignore this case, or will she show once again, as she has in the past, how effective she can be at going to bat for a constituent who has been wronged?
The Tilton family has made all relevant documents in the matter available to the senator, including the eloquent written appeal now pending before the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Since only a tiny fraction of appeals perhaps five per cent are reviewed, and Tilton faces 15 more years imprisonment he was sentenced to 18 years at the Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in 1999 it is imperative that the former Air Force NCO get a new and fair trial.
This is a complicated case, one that MilitaryCorruption.com would not involve itself with unless we were convinced Tilton was innocent and the victim of a cruel injustice. Therefore, we reproduce below, from the transcript of the Maine in the Morning broadcast of August 7, 2002, the cogent remarks by MAJ Glenn MacDonald.
Sergeant Jerry Tilton of Windham, Maine was a non-commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force for 14 years. Prior to that he served with honor four more years in the Air Force Reserve. He had a clean record with several commendations.
Right now, as I speak to you, SGT Tilton is in a jail cell at the military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. He has already served three years of an 18-year sentence.
He was convicted, at court-martial, after his vindictive ex-wife accused him of molesting his youngest son, aged 9 years old.
We at MilitaryCorruption.com were contacted by SGT Tiltons mother, Nancy, and sister, Janice, back in Maine. They told us Jerry had been framed and his trial was a travesty of justice.
After an exhaustive study of trial records, documents, a written appeal and interviews with family members, this website MilitaryCorruption.com is convinced Tilton is an innocent man.
For example, in the Article 32 preliminary hearing to determine if charges warrant court-martial, Tiltons 10 year-old son admitted hed LIED to investigators about his fathers alleged abuse of his brother. This little boy, by the way, had been interrogated by military police until 1 a.m. in the morning!
In any civilian court, such an admission would have resulted in the case being tossed out. But not in this military kangaroo court.
Then, SGT Tiltons youngest son ALSO frustrated prosecutors when the boy repeatedly denied his dad had harmed him in any way. And the youngster stuck to that testimony despite every word trick the lawyers tried to get the boy to say what they wanted.
Only when a recess was called at the court-martial and the boy taken into a room with his mother and prosecution attorneys, did he change his story. When the youngster returned to the witness stand, he spoke hesitatingly, fearfully glancing at his coaches as he repeated like a mantra what hed been told to say.
We at MilitaryCorruption.com contend the real child-abuse in this case took place in that courtroom and what SGT. Tiltons sons went through, was the real crime.
Eric, were very familiar with the show-trial atmosphere and gross lack of Constitutional protections that routinely occur at military court martial. Our listeners here in Maine would be shocked to know that 95 to 98% of all service-members charged, end up convicted, in a system where the so-called defense attorney is appointed by the same commander seeking a guilty verdict.
Sen. Susan Collins is running for reelection this year. And we wish her well.
We hope the senator unlike other
politicians who brush off pleas for help from service
members with impersonal form letters and a brick wall of bureaucratic
staffers, will personally get involved in this case.
We know youve done that in the past, senator. You have the power to ensure justice is done. Jerry Tilton was born and raised in Maine. His mother and sister are your constituents, and they have a right to expect you to help. And thats what we at MilitaryCorruption.com are asking you to do right now.
Senator, Im speaking to you, personally with thousands of voters listening in Im pleading with you, as a native State-of-Mainer, Vietnam veteran, and investigative journalist PLEASE, I urge you to use your influence to correct this terrible injustice.
Were not asking for SGT Tilton
to be released, or the Air Force reprimanded for prosecutorial misconduct.
All we ask is that you contact the secretary of the Air Force and impress upon him that a new trial, one free of coercion and open to the Maine news media, be held.
If SGT Tilton is still found guilty,
so be it. But if its found that he was railroaded, that his
rights were violated, we invite you to join us at MilitaryCorruption.com
in calling for Congressional hearings to reform and overhaul the half-century
old, Uniform Code of Military Justice.