Commander's Article 32 on sexual assault charges ends
NAPLES, Italy — A Navy commander’s Article 32 military investigative hearing on sexual assault charges concluded Friday.
The convening authority’s options include dropping the case against Cmdr. Douglas L. Maddox, referring it to a general or special court-martial, or taking disciplinary action.
Much of the four-day-long hearing at Capodichino was closed, including testimony by the alleged victims, a 15-year-old girl and an 18-year-old woman who was a minor at the time of the alleged assaults.
Maddox, 43, is accused of rape, forcible sodomy, assault consummated by a battery, adultery, indecent assault, indecent acts, indecent liberties, use and possession of a controlled substance, attempting to impede an investigation and impeding an investigation between August 1999 and October 2002.
The teens’ names are not being released to protect their privacy.
The main alleged victim testified that over three years, beginning at age 14, Maddox raped and sodomized her, tied her to furniture and forced her to watch pornographic tapes, and dress up in a variety of outfits, said Lt. Kevin Yusman, senior trial counsel, at the hearing’s conclusion Friday.
“She literally addressed [Maddox] eye to eye on a number of occasions … but her testimony never wavered,” Yusman said of her nearly seven-hour-long testimony.
When the older girl was able to get out of the situation, Maddox is accused of turning to the younger one, who was 14 when he allegedly stepped into a shower naked with her, an indecent act with a child younger than 16, Yusman said.
Other witnesses included mental health professionals and doctors. Maddox’s former wife testified on the drug charge.
Maddox, an assistant maintenance officer attached to Commander, Naval Surface Group Mediterranean, declined to testify.
“At best, the evidence … only can prove probable cause,” said his defense counsel, Lt. Cmdr. Schalk Leonard, in final comments.
The charges were preferred May 30 following an investigation by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. NCIS Special Agent Raymond Vaisa said in an interview that at least 40 agents in the States and Naples were involved in the case. He could not comment further because the case is ongoing.
The Article 32 investigating officer, Capt. Patricia J. Battin, will submit a report and recommendation to the convening authority, Rear Adm. Michael Holmes, Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean.
As a general rule, Article 32 investigations are open to the public. Under the Rules for Court-Martial, the convening authority or the investigating officer may close the proceedings, said Lt. Cmdr. Carla McCarthy, spokeswoman for COMFAIRMED.
Battin closed the hearing during the testimony of four mental health professionals who treated one of the girls. Battin’s decision was in keeping with Holmes’ previous decision to close the hearing during the alleged victims’ testimony to respect their privacy, McCarthy said.