You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Navy Region Japan legal service office CO fired

Feb. 17, 2011 - 11:15AM   |   Last Updated: Feb. 17, 2011 - 11:15AM  |  
  • Filed Under

The commanding officer of the Navy Region Japan legal service office was fired Thursday over his failure "to adequately resource, supervise and oversee" the case of a Navy doctor convicted of molesting female patients, the Navy said.

Most damning, perhaps, was investigators' finding that victims were not made aware of their right to provide input into the plea-bargaining process. The doctor, then-Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Velasquez, was convicted in May 2010 on four related charges but had another 29 withdrawn and dismissed, and he served only a fraction of his original sentence under the terms of that pre-trial agreement, said Lt. Justin Cole, a Navy spokesman.

The commander, Capt. Rex Guinn, was relieved by Rear Adm. Nanette DeRenzi, commander of Navy Legal Service Command and the deputy judge advocate general, for "loss of confidence in his ability to command." Guinn has been reassigned locally; his replacement has not yet been named but will be a Navy lawyer and captain with previous experience as a commanding officer.

Guinn is the second Navy commanding officer fired in 2011. The first was the carrier">Enterprise's CO, Capt. Owen Honors.

The charges against Velasquez stemmed from incidents that took place in Japan and Kuwait between March 2006 and June 2008, Cole said. Allegations arose out of the investigation that certain procedures in the Navy's Victim and Witness Assistance Program were not followed. The program, begun in 1996, calls for victims to be kept well-informed throughout and to participate in the judicial process, Cole said.

In August, the commander of Naval Installations Command, Vice Adm. Michael Vitale, directed a "targeted inspection" of Navy Region Japan's VWAP, Cole said. That inquiry, completed Dec. 2, concluded that the region "had not been compliant with VWAP standards," Cole said.

Some elements of the program had been implemented correctly, and there was no evidence of willful misconduct, he said. But the inquiry also found that the "lack of awareness of a lot of the responsibilities and requirements associated with VWAP were the root cause for the lack of compliance."

As a result, DeRenzi convened an investigation of Guinn's command Dec. 27. The investigation concluded Thursday, Cole said.

In addition to Guinn's firing, seven other members of the regional legal service office received "appropriate administrative measures" for their failure to comply with or supervise compliance with VWAP procedures. Cole declined to be more specific or to identify the individuals or their positions, saying that doing so for such a small office would ease identification of individuals not considered to be public figures. He declined to say whether any of the seven were Navy lawyers.

Answers by RallyPoint

Join trending discussions in the military's #1 professional community. See what members like yourself have to say from across the DoD.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

From Our Blogs


The latest from PT365

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.

This Week's Army Times

This Week's Army Times

CrossFit vs. unit PT
Troops will do the training plans in a $2.5 million study

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook