ETC(SS) Conviction Overturned
Chief’s ‘indecent acts’ conviction overturned
By Andrew Scutro - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Oct 20, 2008 8:32:04 EDT
NORFOLK, Va. — A chief submariner who was convicted of “indecent acts with a child” four years ago, busted down to seaman recruit and given a three-year prison sentence was acquitted on appeal Sept. 10. And now he’s eligible for $160,000 in back pay and reinstatement as an active E-7, according to a Navy spokeswoman.
Chief Electronics Technician (SS) Steven Jason McGinnis was found guilty in 2004 after a general court-martial by jury in Norfolk. But an appellate review by the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals has found that improper testimony was allowed at the court-martial. The appeals court agreed with a complaint that McGinnis’ due process rights were violated because the government lawyer — repeating expert witness testimony — “improperly and incorrectly [used] statistical evidence in his closing argument to conclude that false accusations are minimal.”
His case was reheard over three days beginning Sept. 8.
McGinnis and his Navy defense lawyer declined to comment through Beth Baker, a spokeswoman at Navy Region Mid-Atlantic.
The charge stemmed from allegations by the alleged victim’s mother. According to court records from his appeal, McGinnis baby-sat the daughter of a shipmate he met in 1992, while serving aboard the ballistic-missile submarine Tennessee.
According to the findings from the appellate court, McGinnis was accused of improperly touching his shipmate’s daughter on three occasions while they watched television or played video games on a laptop computer.
McGinnis’ original sentence was three years’ confinement, reduction in rank to E-1 and a dishonorable discharge.
His acquittal came from the appellate review, a process required in cases with heavy punishment. According to his personnel record, he has remained in Navy control, even though a three-year prison sentence would have expired in November 2007.
“He has requested to stay in the Navy,” Baker said, although she was unable to say where he’s stationed. “He’s entitled to all the back pay. He will receive it.”
The basic pay, not counting benefits such as housing allowance, he would have received from December 2004 through September of this year totals $160,058.48, according to Navy Times research.
McGinnis has been in the Navy since 1990.
This is why I get angry. In the military, the predators have more rights than the victims! Another example that this type of thing REALLY DOES HAPPEN in the service. Guess "Rank hath it's privileges" really applies. Plus, he's a submariner! Makes me hang my head in shame.