Colonel Daniel Wilson, 56, a Marine who served for more than three decades, was convicted Saturday of molesting the 6-year-old daughter of another Marine. (Details of the case are not appropriate for all, and may be disturbing.)
Wilson was sentenced to 5½ years imprisonment for sexual abuse of a child and six counts of conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman, as well as absence without leave, according to WITN.
Wilson was accused of fondling and raping the child, by penetrating her with his finger, at his home on Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C. He was found not guilty of the rape allegation.
During a two-week period in the summer of 2016 that the girl’s family spent with Wilson and his wife, according to reports, the colonel was accused of abusing three girls in the family.
In addition to the abuse of the 6-year-old girl, Wilson allegedly “licked and spanked the girl’s twin sister,” the New York Daily News reports, and offered both twins and their older 10-year-old sister alcohol. He was acquitted of these charges.
The six-year-old girl reportedly told her parents she had been assaulted by “Uncle Dan” on July 13, 2016. She testified that Wilson touched her “private part,” both over and under her shorts, when she was sitting on Wilson’s lap, according to the Daily Beast.
The child now experiences nightmares and anxious moods, as reported by the parents during testimony.
After the child made the allegations, her father reportedly called Wilson the next day, confused. He is reported to have told the accused colonel: “I’m so lost, sir. You’re a father to me, you’ve been a role model to me, but I know she’s not lying.”
The parents followed up by filing a complaint with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, after which Wilson was charged in November 2016.
Wilson has repeatedly denied the allegations.
A 49-year-old woman also came forward with similar accusations, after the court ruled that it would not jail Wilson while he was awaiting court-martial.
The woman alleges that during a December 2016 trip to South Carolina with Wilson and his wife, the colonel sexually assaulted her. Following the accusation, Wilson was confined at the Marine Corps Installations East Regional Brig in January.
Wilson was found not guilty of assaulting the 49-year-old, who was the estranged wife of a doctor at Camp Lejeune. However, he was convicted of taking an unauthorized absence for the trip she had referenced and conduct unbecoming an officer, after revelations came forth of crude behavior during a series of incidents dating back to February 2016.
That behavior included making sexual comments to a colleague’s wife and asking an officer for a pair of his wife’s underwear.
Wilson, who has spent 36 years in the service, has received an array of awards, including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star. After his conviction, he was sentenced to be discharged from the Marine Corps, which will likely result in the loss of a military pension worth more than $5 million, according to his defense lawyer.
Military.com reports that Wilson’s court-martial on charges of child sexual assault and abuse required a team of Marine colonels to accompany him to the court on a rotating basis, supervise the removal and application of his handcuffs, and remain in the courtroom through long legal proceedings as a security measure.
The colonels were added to Wilson’s chaser team “out of respect for the rank of the accused,” according to Military.com.
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