Woman not cooperating in award-winning AF photographer's rape trial
By Sig Christenson | San Antonio Express-News | Published: January 22, 2014
SAN ANTONIO — A judge on Monday was expected to delay an airman's trial because one of the victims in the case is not cooperating with prosecutors.
Airman 1st Class Nathan G. Wilson-Crow is accused of raping a woman last summer as well as exposing himself to more than 20 girls, one under 16, at a camp about 100 miles northeast of San Antonio in late April.
The rape charge is the most serious Wilson-Crow faces, but the woman so far has been unavailable to prosecutors. Capt. R.T. Collins, one of two military prosecutors, told Judge Donald Eller Jr. on Monday that the Air Force had contacted the woman's mother but had been unsuccessful in seeing or talking with the victim.
The mother indicated that her daughter “was anxious” about the case, Collins told the judge.
Eller told attorneys to bring their calendars to court after the lunch break and be ready to set a date for the trial.
Wilson-Crow, an award-winning military photographer, is accused of raping a woman last June and July, giving her alcohol on both occasions. Those charges carry a life sentence.
But he also could get up to 53 years on five charges stemming from sexual misconduct on April 26 or April 28 at Camp Eagle near Rocksprings, Texas.
The most serious charges in that incident allege he exposed himself to a girl under 16 and that he fondled another woman. Prosecutors say that action occurred in the presence of the girl who was under 16.
Both of those charges carry maximum 15-year prison terms.
In the incidents last spring, Wilson-Crow, 22, of North Texas, is accused of sexual misconduct with students from O'Connor High School. They were at Camp Eagle as part of a school-sponsored event.
The Air Force called Wilson-Crow a “volunteer” at Camp Eagle when news of the incident broke. Officials said no Air Force program allowed military personnel to go to camps such as the one involving the O'Connor students.
Eller, the judge, spent the morning working through a series of motions that will set the stage for a trial.
He asked Wilson-Crow to offer a plea during a hearing last week, but neither the airman nor his attorneys responded.
The airman, who won first place in the pictorial category in the nationwide Military Photographer of the Year competition for a photo of a couple embracing at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., had not given a plea before the court broke for lunch at 11 a.m.
Eller, however, asked Wilson-Crow whether he wanted to be tried by a judge or jury. Military defendants can be tried by a judge, officers or a mix of officers and enlisted personnel.
“By officer members, sir,” he responded.