Washington Post reporter John Woodrow Cox – whose investigation of the court-martial prosecution of Marine Major Mark Thompson, formerly an instructor at the Naval Academy, yielded some ugly results (discussed here) – now reports that Major Thompson faces new charges:

After revelations about his case in The Washington Post, the military has now charged Thompson with one count of making a false official statement and another of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.

The full story is available here and includes this damaging admission:

Asked in January of this year why he had lied to authorities, Thompson described the immense pressure he faced after one of the women asserted that he’d raped her.

“I simply had to, when they were coming after me for 41 years,” Thompson said, “I can’t begin to say, you know, how terrifying that is.”

21 Responses to “New charges preferred against Major Thompson”

  1. afjagcapt says:

    In the immortal words of Jerry Seinfeld: “That’s a shame.”

  2. Dew_Process says:

    The “duress” defense has about as much chance of flying as a dodo bird!

  3. Lone Wolf says:

    do they call the reporter at trial? Is the phone enough to get the conviction? There’s a risk taking this to court martial, he could always win. Dude seems to have a way with panels. 

  4. Unsolicited pro bono advice... says:

    RILT.

  5. Advocaat says:

    Time to find another reporter to uncover the injustices done by the first reporter.

  6. Ed says:

    This is now nothing but a routine case that should result in dismissal. He is a real embarrassment.

  7. Concerned Defender says:

    I’m not here to judge the guy, but to understand the nature of the charges.  Reporting is so bad these days.  It’s unclear from the various articles.  Here’s what I understand.
    1.  Had a 3 way with two junior officers.  Stadler said it was consensual, the other said it was rape.  He was acquitted of the big charges and convicted of some smaller ones.  From the article “Stadler — later dismissed from the Navy for lying about her relationship with an enlisted sailor after she’d graduated from the academy — said the sex was consensual and part of an ongoing relationship. But her friend told authorities that she was too drunk to give Thompson consent, alleging that he’d raped her.”
    2.  After a partial conviction Thompson was facing a BOI, where he apparently said that the last time he saw her was on graduation day, but later said it was the next day, and said in neither instance did he have sex with her.  Her “lost” phone has been recovered with texts contrary to his statement there was no ongoing relationship.  It’s not clear whether this lost phone has any credibility given it has no chain of evidence and could have been fabricated.  
    3.  When was his “lie?”  He said “They were coming after me for 41 years.” That implies it must have been during the trial, but the articles suggest he lied during his BOI?  All very unclear. 
    Clearly he made a lot of mistakes and tactical errors and didn’t follow counsel’s likely advice to shut up.  But what exactly is the case summary?  Anyone?  Trying to figure out the 5 Ws and H here…

  8. Monday morning QB says:

    IMHO, the G should stay as far away from Stadler and her cell phone in the new case as they possibly can, if not avoid using her and the texts all together.  She has absolutely zero credibility and a good DC will shred her and the sudden location of the cell phone after the reporter asked her about it.  And as for the authenticity of the texts?  Good luck with all that. 

  9. k fischer says:

    MMQB,
     
    If Pretus corroborates what Stadler says and there are texts that corroborate what Stadler and Pretus are going to testify about, then how much shredding is there going to be?
     
    She had enough credibility to get him convicted at the first Court-martial for fraternization, right?  And, she didn’t have this phone that contained six months worth of texts about dangerous liasons?  She is going to say she had a ménage with these two Marines.  I’m assuming the Government is going to get that out of Pretus, as well.  So, is the defense going to make Stadler look like some evil genius who is able to fabricate six months worth of backdated texts?
     
    I don’t see how authentication is going to be a problem.  What is this? My old phone.  How do you know it’s your old phone?  It has all my stored numbers in it.  Has it been in your possession for the past three years?  Yes, in an old box until I gave it to CID.  And are there communications on this phone between you and the accused?  Yes.  And have those communications been edited in any way?  No.  Are they in the same form on your phone as when they were sent and received? Yes. When was the last time you communicated with the accused?  What was the last date of the text to the accused on my old phone?
     
    Based on her post court-martial conduct, she should be made to carry a ficus plant to replenish the oxygen she has stolen from law abiding citizens like you and me, but I don’t see why the Government is going to lose money by calling her to testify.  Who is going to authenticate those texts?  Sprint or Verizon doesn’t keep a record of them.  The government will have to get the phone in and the only way to do it would be through Stadler.

  10. Concerned defender says:

    Texts can be faked.  And there’s no reliable chain of custody on the phone.  Not impossible but certainly a challenge.
     
    Note she has credibility issues in her past.  

  11. The Silver Fox says:

    I love how you view the woman as the one with credibility issues rather than the guy who admitted to lying and convinced his friend to commit perjury.  

  12. k fischer says:

    CD,
     
    Yes, they can be faked from a website that will allow you to spoof somebody’s number.  But, the simple way to authenticate that is get his text records on date/time sent to her number from the accused’s carrier, then marry them up.  She would have to be an awful evil genius to spoof someone with the intent to then falsely accuse them of fraternization.  To use a Christensism: She’d have to be the spawn of Satan!
     
    I get that she has credibility issues in the past regarding lying about fraternization with an enlisted person.  Certainly, defense counsel will want an expert to conduct diagnostics on the phone to see if the texts were spoofed.  
     
    If I were the Government counsel, the case would be simple.  1.  Call Stadler as a witness to testify about the sex.  Authenticate the phone. 2.  Call Pretus.  3.  Call accused’s cell phone carrier representative to authenticate his text records.  4.  Call the Board members to testify what the Accused testified to or have a court-reporter type the admin sep proceedings verbatim (if they are still available). 5.  Finish up with the Washington Post reporter to testify what his investigation uncovered (Maybe call him as the first witness)
     
    TSF,
     
    I love how you come to the defense of Stadler who was allowed to continue serving, notwithstanding her being an accomplice to a “rape” and a principal in fraternization, then still can’t get her act straight when she goes downrange.  At least the enlisted guy she was fraternizing did not face a court-martial for rape.  I like to look for the silver linings……. 

  13. Monday morning QB says:

    KF, yes that would be the way to walk it all into evidence. I think we all know that. As others havwe noted, there is no chain of custody with texts, which are how many years old now?   You add in her multitude of lies, and you get to a point where the members hate her and start to overlook the rest of the evidence.  First area of cross: “so let me get this straight. You testified under oath at a previous case that you were raped by the accused. But now it was all just consensual. So you committed perjury back then.,” etc, etc.  on many issues. “You sat on a phone – you literally hid a phone – that investigators were looking for, you knew where it was the entire time, and you only “found” it after a reporter working to assist the accused contacted you.” Then after all of this, you had a relationship with an enlisted person and lied about that too, and got kicked out of the Navy. Lets talk about that because the facts are mysteriously absent from all the news reporting on this case. And they Navy is presently trying to recoup all the money the G paid for your education at Annapolis?  And your cooperation in this case in the present environment of increased scrutiny of sexual assault in the military will make the Navy back off on collecting that debt, at least you are hoping for that, right? (We can play this game for a long tIke actually.) if I were the G I would want to go judge alone, which is why the accused should request members. 

  14. Ghost of the Silver Fox says:

    Edited.
    MMQB, pay attention to the facts.  Stadler never said she was raped, so your first area of cross is a loser.  Thompson was convicted of the allegations that involved Stadler, but he was acquitted of raping the other woman.  Of course it appears he won that acquittal based on his best friend’s perjured testimony, but the members believed Stadler before.  Now the government has evidence the accused lied and conspired with his friend to commit perjury.  Stadler has her issues (I agree with KF on that), but they pale in comparison to Thompson’s.  Chain of custody?  Are you kidding me?  It was in her possession not the governments. It’s a weight issue, not admissibility.  

  15. k fischer says:

    MMQB,
     
    COC for texts?  It was in her possession.  Am I missing something?  How do we know that these texts came from the accused?  Because when he texted me his address and told me to go around the back door, I did so to find him in his bedroom naked and ready to….christen me?
     
    If it were just her, then maybe, but it appears there are far more witnesses who can corroborate her story.  The danger I see is going hard after Stadler and trying to sell crazy, then the panel taking it out on the accused.
     

  16. k fischer says:

    MMQB,
     
    You bring up a good point.  Start with Times reporter, Pretus, Stadler, Verizon, then finish with Board member.

  17. k fischer says:

    New Orleans cab driver gets put through the ringer.  Interesting video.  If he were PFC Farrell, then he probably would be prosecuted under an Article 80 attempt of an Article 120c offense in addition to attempted aggravated sexual abuse.

  18. stewie says:

    Satire I know, but it ain’t wrong. The blanket ban on consensual, non-victim sexual acts that aren’t a crime in the civilian world is pretty silly.
     
    Sleeping with someone in your command, fry em (figuratively, not literally). Sleeping with another servicemembers spouse, fry em (possibly literally). Sleeping with Susie who has no ties to the military, or sleeping with someone who is ten days from being divorced, or sleeping with two girls you met at the local strip club matters not one whit in today’s day and age and shouldn’t be something the military cares about.

  19. Zachary D Spilman says:

    A lot (if not all) of those offenses you complain about, stewie, are 134 offenses, the whole point of which is prejudice to good order and discipline or discredit to the service.