MP waives right to Article 32 hearing
December 23, 2003
MANNHEIM, Germany — A Mannheim military policeman accused of raping a minor and distributing child pornography has waived his right to an Article 32 investigation, the military’s version of a grand jury hearing, according to Army officials Monday.
Staff Sgt. Jason Lewis, 33, assigned to the 95th Military Police Battalion, is accused of 14 charges including rape, sodomy, indecent acts with a child, and multiple charges relating to child pornography. He was scheduled to appear before investigators on Monday.
Now it’s up Col. Susan Sowers, commander of the 37th Transportation Command, to recommend whether Lewis will face a general court-martial, according to 21st Theater Support Command spokeswoman Denise Calabria.
The final decision on Lewis’ court-martial rests with 21st TSC commander Maj. Gen. Bennie Williams.
Calabria said legal officials declined to discuss whether Lewis had confessed to the crimes or whether any plea bargain arrangements had been made in his case.
In fact, she said, Lewis’ decision to waive his hearing does not even indicate an intended guilty plea.
“There could be a myriad number of reasons for why he would waive his Article 32 hearing.” Calabria said.
Meanwhile, she said, the investigation into a second soldier implicated in the Lewis case is continuing.
Sgt. Jason K. Griner, 32, of the 66th Transportation Company in Mannheim, faces five charges that include indecent acts and liberties with a child, posting pornography on the Internet, and using a personal computer to receive, store and distribute child pornography.
The charges against both soldiers relate to one victim, a female under the age of 12.
An Article 32 hearing for Griner has not yet been slated, said Calabria.