Sometimes, MilitaryCorruption.com doesn’t hear about the antics of military personnel until they are convicted in court several years later. Sometimes, we hear about violations of the UCMJ in almost real time. We know there are those out there that say, “this is old news.” But, there are many others who have never heard of these cases.
For that reason we provide the following information.
Recently, one of our readers alerted us to a retired Brigadier General who was initially charged with 15 felony counts of child porn. When he was sentenced, the loyal reader sent us the information saying, ‘Air Force, once again aiming high,’ or words to that effect.
Right away, we had several questions.
- Was the general always a child porn connoisseur which included his active duty time?
- What did the Air Force know and when did they know it?
- And, if the military knew about the general’s proclivity, was the he given a get-out-of-jail card avoiding a military investigation and court martial so long as he quietly retired?
- Why didn’t the Air Force bring the general back on active duty for prosecution?
- How many other military officers, who are occupying their time cruising the Internet looking at child porn?
- What sentence would Frank Sullivan received if he was treated like the enlisted personnel or junior officers for the same offense?
- Did Brig. General Sullivan receive an honorable discharge?
- Is BG Sullivan guilty of conduct unbecoming a retired military officer? Is it not true that as long as you accept retirement pay from the military, you are subject to the UCMJ?
- Did Frank Sullivan get into child porn when he was an Air Force captain, major, lieutenant colonel, colonel; when did he start delving into the world of child pornography?
We obviously need a JAG officer on our staff.
We recall when the Marines when into a feeding frenzy when they heard a rumor that Colonel Dan Wilson had molested a child. According to the appeals court, the Marines didn’t have enough credible evidence to convict, but they didn’t let that stop them, handing down a 5 1/2 year prison sentence. After serving half of his sentence, Colonel Wilson was released, demoted and thrown out of the military.
There’s a hell of a difference between military and civilian courts. While both court systems are not error free, the civilian courts usually demand a bit more credible evidence before convicting someone. Because of how the system was created, a military court really doesn’t need credible evidence in order to achieve an astoundingly high conviction rate.
Do you think the jury is going to kick the convening authority in the teeth by voting not-guilty; are you kidding?
Anyway, we now provide you with two cases of Air Force officers who were accused of engaging in child pornography. In 2019, authorities arrested then Air Force Colonel Mark Visconi for several felony counts of child porn, and Brigadier General Frank Sullivan for 15 felony counts relating to child porn. Here are some of the details…
THE CASE OF COLONEL MARK VISCONI, USAF
Military.com reported that…
An Air Force colonel pleaded guilty in November 2019, to receiving child pornography online and taking photos of underage girls without their consent, according to the Department of Justice.
Col. Mark Visconi, 48, of Fairfax, Virginia, used an online bulletin board dedicated to sharing illegal images of minors between November 2015 and June 2016, according to the release from the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia.
A forensic review of his laptop showed that Visconi downloaded and viewed numerous child pornography images and videos using an anonymous web browser.
Titles indicated he downloaded videos of girls as young as 3 years old, according to court documents. In another, investigators noted the girl had a pillowcase with characters from the animated film “Beauty and the Beast.”
The plea documents also noted Visconi used his cell phone to create more than 440 pictures focused on the clothed buttocks of minor girls, according to the release. In a smaller subset of these pictures, Visconi appeared to take “upskirting” images of some of the girls, who did not appear to know that pictures were being taken.
Sentencing for Visconi is scheduled for Jan. 31 with U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of the Eastern District of Virginia. Visconi faces five to 20 years in prison and must register as a sex offender, according to court documents. The charges against Visconi were filed in federal court Aug. 28.
A special operations pilot with two Bronze Star medals, Visconi most recently served as the chief of the Counter-Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Task Force at the Pentagon. He was commissioned in June 1993 after graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy, according to his service record.
Other decorations in his service record include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, seven Air Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals and the Aerial Achievement Medal.
A 2007 Air Force news release highlights Visconi, then a major, for earning the Air Force Academy’s Col. James Jabara Award for Airmanship, which he received after flying 106 combat sorties and 136 combat hours in Iraq.
Aside from training Iraqi pilots, Visconi is also an Arabic linguist, according to the release.
THE CASE OF BRIGADIER GENERAL (BG) FRANK SULLIVAN, USAF
(The BG for Frank now stands for “Boys and Girls”)
MECHANICSBURG, PA. — Frank Sullivan, a retired U.S. Air Force brigadier general, was charged with child pornography after a search of his Hampden Township home turned up pictures of children “engaged in very graphic sexual acts,” the state attorney general’s office said Wednesday.
Sullivan, 67, was charged with 15 second-degree felony counts of possessing child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
The arrest comes following the mid-October arrest of Bobby Glenn Williams Jr.
Williams, 33, was charged with a total of 26 felonies – 14 counts of disseminating photos or films of child sex acts, 11 counts of child pornography, and a single count of criminal use of a communication facility.
Agents searched General Sullivan’s home on Turnbridge Lane last month after a computer there was found to be sharing files containing child pornography online.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro said a home desktop and laptop had images of child pornography and browser histories with thousands of searches for “preteen” images. He said the searches included 37 terms commonly used by people looking for child pornography. Williams, who rented a room in Sullivan’s home, was charged last month.
Sullivan is a decorated veteran with tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the former executive director of the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission. Sullivan was released on unsecured bail following his arraignment before a district judge. He has waived a preliminary hearing, according to online court records.
Matt Miller with PennLive.com reported…
The lawyer for a retired Air Force general charged with possessing child pornography said Wednesday the investigation is still in its “early stages” and the public should defer making any assumptions of guilt.
“He’s dedicated his life to serving our country,” attorney Patrick F. Lauer Jr. said of his client, former Brig. Gen. Frank Sullivan. “He deserves more than the benefit of the doubt.” Lauer’s comments came in contrast to those made by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro during a press conference following the general’s arrest, which came about a month after agents raided Sullivan’s Cumberland County home.
Shapiro said that, despite his former rank, the retired general is just one of 324 people charged by his office with possessing child porn since January 2017. “If we can get rid of these perverts then these children will be better protected,” Shapiro said. Lauer insisted this is not an open and shut case.
“It’s very clear that numerous other people were living in the general’s home and they had access to his computers,” he said. “We will get to the bottom of this as the investigation proceeds.” Shapiro said his agents haven’t interviewed the 67-year-old Sullivan but have communicated with the general through Lauer.
Sullivan had served as the executive director for the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission. His military career included tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. A spokesman for Gov. Tom Wolf’s office said Wednesday that “Mr. Sullivan no longer works for the commonwealth as of Oct. 16,” but did not elaborate.
Sullivan is the second person to be arrested as a result of the raid on his Turnbridge Lane home in Hampden Township. He is charged with 15 counts of possessing child porn and one count of criminal use of a communication facility for allegedly downloading that material from the internet.
One of Sullivan’s tenants, Bobby Williams Jr., was arrested immediately after the Oct. 9 raid. Williams is one of four people who rented space in the home from Sullivan.
In arrest documents, Special Agent Gordon Goodrow said the raid stemmed from an investigation that began in Feburary when suspicious activity was detected online.
That activity was traced to Sullivan’s Comcast account, Goodrow said.
He said investigators found sexual images of children on a laptop computer Sullivan had possessed and had given to Williams. Evidence was found that a search involving child porn was conducted on that computer in June 2014, Goodrow said.
Images of “apparent” child porn were found in a computer seized from Sullivan’s bedroom as well, the agent wrote. He said 166 terms used to conduct searches for child porn were detected on that device. Sullivan remains free on $100,000 unsecured bail. He waived his preliminary hearing, sending his case directly to county court.
During his press conference, Shapiro lumped Sullivan into the same category as other prominent men charged by his office with child porn possession, including “predator priests” and former state Sen. Mike Folmer. They are the people who are providing a market for the videos of child-sex abuse, he said.
“If you harm a child, we are coming after you, and we are going to hold you accountable,” Shapiro said.
Updated Post: March 30, 2021, PennLive.com (Pennsylvania Real Time News)
With tears welling in his eyes, retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Frank Sullivan told a Cumberland County judge Tuesday morning that post-traumatic stress from more than three decades of service and four combat tours prompted him to turn to child pornography. (MC.com: Oh shit, give us a freeking break general)
“I accept full responsibility for everything,” the 69-year-old former Hampden Township resident said as he stood before President Judge Edward E. Guido. “I damaged friends, family…countless thousands.” Guido sentenced Sullivan to 5 years of probation and fined the former general $2,500 on his guilty pleas to five felony charges of possessing child porn.
(MC.com: just imagine what the sentence would have been had the Air Force court martialed him. We are guessing the general’s penchant for child porn didn’t suddenly begin the day after he retired from the Air Force.)
The sentencing occurred 16 months after Sullivan’s arrest, which came after agents of the state attorney general’s office searched his Tunbridge Lane home and also arrested his tenant for child porn possession.
Sullivan had no deal regarding a sentence. Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones said the only agreement was that the sentences on all five charges would run concurrently with one another. (MC.com: In other words there was not deal, but there was a deal)
Defense attorney Patrick F. Lauer Jr. argued for a probation term, or at worst house arrest. (MC.com: Can you believe it? Probation or house arrest for 15 felony counts of child porn.)
He cited Sullivan’s military service and the trials that entailed which left his client with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and insomnia. “He had internalized it,” Lauer said. Sullivan had served as the executive director for the Pennsylvania Military Community Enhancement Commission. His military career includes tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sullivan was wracked with emotion as he spoke to Guido. He broke down at one point, then barely regained his composure. (MC.com: how many people did Franky convene general court martials for?)
He talked about the burden borne by those in the military and how deployments can leave them feeling as though the rest of society has simply moved on without them. “Sometimes you think it’s impossible to make up that distance,” Sullivan said.
“I don’t know how much time I have left on this planet. But in the name of the Lord, I’m going to make it up…to those I’ve hurt,” he said. Guido said his decision on Sullivan’s punishment was partly influenced by the ex-general’s “distinguished” military career.
However, “First and foremost the defendant has shown real remorse and has taken steps to address the underlying psychological problems” that led to his crimes, the judge said. Jones then informed Sullivan that he must register with state police as a sex offender for the next 15 years.
(MC.com: we keep thinking of all those military members that are serving time in military prisons for doing only a fraction of what the general has done. Hey general, don’t worry about these charges. We’ll wow the civilian jury with a long diatribe about your sterling military record.
Remember, all the neighbors said the Killer Clown John Wayne Gacy was an excellent neighbor and upstanding citizen. Gacy even got to shake the hand of the President’s wife.
We’re going to take a picture now, so look real pathetic. Try to look like a Chester the molester… yeah, that’s good… now say cheese!)