Saturday, April 25, 2009

Edwin's Story (this can happen to you)

I met Edwin in the Minneapolis Airport in June 2004 when my mom and I were flying to San Diego to see my brother graduate from MCRD boot camp and finally become a Marine (he's wanted to be a Marine since I can remember). I'll be the first to admit, I wasn't very nice to Edwin.

We spent the next 15 hours together trying to get the San Diego, our flights were delayed or rerouted so we got to know each other pretty well. This is us in Texas.

When we finally arrived at our destination, yet another airport, we realized our luggage was gone. So I had everything sent to my hotel room and the next morning I drove to Oceanside and picked Eddie up at Angela and John's apartment. My mom, Edwin and I spent the next 3 days together.

I left California to come home to Minnesota. Edwin had my cell phone number and mailing address so we could write to each other while he was in Iraq. From June 2004-January 2005 we talked on the phone, wrote letters, and spent hours online chatting. While in Iraq, Edwin sent lots of pictures...
I guess he didn't want me to forget about him. He asked me to marry him in November 2004 and we started making plans for me to move to California when he returned. In the beginning of December I got a special package in the mail. It was my engagement ring. Enclosed in it was a note that said "I can't wait to start our life together, I love you". I still have that note.

On December 3, 2005 Edwin and I were married at the Ranch House Chapel at Camp Pendleton. He was so nervous, everyone thought he was going to get sick. We had a ton of family and friends there and had a nice get together afterwards at the beach cottages.

January 17, 2006, our son Thomas was born. Edwin was so excited. He stayed everyday in the hospital with me. As you can see, Thomas was a "daddy's boy" right from the beginning.

In May 2006 I found out I was pregnant again and Edwin and I decided that we could save more money if I moved back to Minnesota until the baby was born. We talked and e-mailed everyday. He called to see how I was feeling and made a few visits to be with us for the holidays.

On January 17, 2007 our daughter Danni Marie was born and Edwin fell in love with her at first sight.

In August 2007, Edwin stood trial for allegedly sexually assaulting his ex-wife Gloria's, best friend Stacey's daughter. The allegations were reported in June 2004 at NCIS Parris Island. Edwin was convicted of the crimes based on no evidence, physical or otherwise.

H, the alleged victim, alleges that these crimes took place when she was 3 years old, yet her parents both said that they did not notice anything different about her behavior and no bleeding, unlike what she told her father in June 2004.

Since his conviction it has been discovered that the father of the child, Paul LIED about taking her to the Beaufort Naval Hospital, NCIS fabricated a false confession that does not match what the "victim", H alleges, State and Federal reporting requirements were violated and then H recanted her story about Edwin's ex-wife, Gloria witnessing this alleged event-even though in June 2004 H told NCIS on video that there were witnesses and Gloria was one of them.

Edwin's ex-wife's daughter Randi, was spending time with the family of the alleged victim, when these allegations were brought forward. Stacey, the mother of the alleged victim told Randi, a 13 yr old child to talk to her daughter H about being sexually assaulted. When H said that something had happened to her, she refused to give a name. H would only state that "her mommy would be mad at her". When Stacey was told that H said something had happened, the Randi stated to NCIS that Hannah was told to say it was Edwin by her mother Stacey.

When interviewed by NCIS in June 2004, Gloria was not informed or questioned as to whether she witnessed this child being sexually assaulted. Gloria did not know about the allegations against her until the defense questioned her the first day of trial. Gloria's response was that H lied.

Randi, the witness to the original allegations, now 17, was flown to California to testify against Edwin but never took the stand because she would not change her story to match that of the family of the alleged victim. Randi stands by her original statement that Stacey, H's mother planted Edwin's name in H's mind. This is confirmed by an e-mail sent from Gloria to me in January 2009. Randi was just the beginning of the reasonable doubt in this case and that is why the prosecution refused to put her on the stand.

Edwin took 3 polygraphs conducted by a San Diego Police Department Polygraph Administrator who, after all 3 tests were completed found Edwin was being truthful when he said that he did not do anything to H. These tests were also quality check by 3 other qualified examiners who all concurred with the administrator, Edwin was telling the truth when he said that he did not sexually assault H.

My husband is a proud Marine and we both understood the sacrifices that would have to be made for the Marine Corps and our country when we started our family. I stood behind Edwin's decision 100% to continue his career in the Marine Corps. But asking Edwin, myself and our children, Thomas and Danni to sacrifice never knowing their dad and him missing from our lives for 19 years for the conviction of a crime based on false allegations, lies, and fabricated evidence, is asking too much.

This is our only family portrait taken when Thomas was 12 months old and Danni Marie was 9 days old. Edwin has not seen our children since they were 19 months and 7 months, they are now 3 1/2 and 2 1/2 years old.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Meeting Major General Waldhauser

Thursday April 16 I went to the Fort Snelling Officers Club and did a meet and greet with General Thomas Waldhauser. General Waldhauser was the convening authority who gave Edwin 6 years clemency in February 2008 and is also the Commanding General of 1st Marine Division. I gave General Waldhauser a copy of the Article 73 petition, and told him that his staff judge advocate, Lt Col Miller may have given him the wrong recommendation when it came to Edwin's case.

General Waldhauser pulled me aside and spoke to me for a few minutes, made sure that my contact information was in the petition and he said he was going to look into it, then get back to me. Now it's only been a week, but I haven't heard anything yet.

While there, I also met an attorney who is helping me get Edwin's information to a friend of his who is a Colonel in the Marine Corps and a former JAG trial judge. The gentleman has offered to read over, as well as the attorney, all the documentation I have in hand. Maybe we can discover more things that the government failed to do.

On a side note, my mother-in-law brought to my attention a very interesting case going before the supreme court. Pottawattamie County v. McGhee, 08-1065. Right now, the prosecution has immunity from civil liability if they are acting within the scope of their jobs, i.e. prosecuting in good faith for the crime. In this particular case, 2 men were sentenced to life in prison for murdering an off duty police officer. 25 years later, it was discovered that the police and prosecution failed to share evidence that pointed the finger at another man and created reasonable doubt and that key witnesses recanted their stories.

Sound Familiar?????

I don't want Edwin to have to wait 25 years to be vindicated in a court of law, that is why I'm going to anxiously await the outcome of this case as it may have some weight in future dealings with the government.

Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the military but I can't believe that certain people believe that the laws do not apply to them. It does make the military as a whole look bad because of a "few bad eggs". Unfortunately everyone I have contacted so far, throws their hands up and refuses to do anything about it.

I just haven't got the information to the right person yet.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Jumping through hoops again....

In March Edwin's military attorney contacted me and told me that the article 73 petition for a new trial was not accepted. Apparently, though I have the power of attorney for Edwin, it wasn't "good enough" for the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals (NMCCA). I was also told that the petition was not in correct military format and would have been returned because of that fact. One good thing-the military attorney corrected it for me, which I am very greatful for, and now i have it printed and bound awaiting to be mailed for a 2nd time.

Going back a little bit to December 2008, I contacted Parris Island NCIS and spoke to a supervisor who has worked there for over 25 years. I told him I just had some general questions regarding the Family Advocacy Program (FAP) and their involvement with reported sexual assault cases against minors. It was confirmed, that the FAP is required to be involved with EVERY reported case of child abuse, sexual assault against a minor and neglect.

This is where the fun began....

It was shortly after that the supervisor from NCIS asked me what this pertained to and I gave the name of the child. He responded that he knew her and remembered the case and his special agents reported these allegations to the FAP at Parris Island MCRD. At that point I informed him that he was incorrect with the reporting to the FAP. I told him that I have a document in my posession from the FAP at Parris Island that states they have never heard of such a report.

He changed his story yet again and said that the FAP was not available in June 2004. He was wrong again. The FAP has been around since 1992 and is available at all military instillations. That is why they pay people to be the Sexual Assault Response Coordinators (SARC). He quickly told me that he didn't want to talk to me anymore and ended the call. I took notes from our conversation, and wrote him a nice letter dated January 7, 2009. In the packet I sent to him, certified mail which he signed for, I included the document from the FAP dated January 2008 and DoD Directive 6400.1 Family Advocacy Program.

I included the DoD Directive 6400.1 mainly to piss him off because I knew he didn't believe me on the phone. While working on the packet I sent to him, I realized that he probably missed the day that the reporting requirements for the sexual assault of a minor were covered and even suggested a refresher course for his "underlings" and himself.

Now here is the reason I wrote about the conversation in December 2008. The other night, after everyone was asleep I was playing on the internet and decided to check out the Instector General's website and see if there was anything interesting on it. I came across several articles of Ethics and Oaths on the site which caught my attention since they apply to all federal and state employees , but what really shocked me was the fact that I found references and quotes of an NCIS manual.

In the manual all NCIS agents, including supervisors are required to report within 3 business days fraud (which NCIS committed) and agent misconduct. Now I sent him the info in January, he signed for it himself on January 10th but has still not reported anything to the Investigations Department and NCIS HQ in Washington. What does he have to hide? The incompetence of NCIS at PArris Island and their workers there?

I'm getting another letter to NCIS HQ together and will be sending that out again as well, but the one I'm saving for my PMS day is to him and him alone. When I'm writing to him, I'll make sure I remember the lat thing he said to me "obviously it was a successful investigation, your husband is in prison". What he failed to realize was the lies that were told to put him there.