A colonel based at Camp Lejeune has been found guilty of sexually abusing a child, but he was cleared of other charges officials said on Saturday.
Col. Daniel H. Wilson, the former operations officer for II Marine Expeditionary Force, had been accused sexually abusing three children, assaulting the woman and other offenses. He has been held in the Camp Lejeune brig for 240 days.
On Saturday, a military jury found Wilson guilty of sexual abuse of a child, conduct unbecoming of an officer and being absent without leave, said 2nd Lt James Mercure, a spokesman for II MEF.
Wilson had been charged with abusing a child under 12 years old several times in June and July 2016 while at Camp Lejeune, according to a redacted copy of his charge sheet.
The charges of conduct unbecoming of an officer stem from February 2016 while Wilson was in Darwin, Australia. Military.com reported that Wilson was fired just 10 days into a six-month rotation to Australia for making sexual comments to another colonel’s wife, sending crude Facebook messages to a female officer and other unprofessional behavior.
Wilson was found not guilty of rape of a child, assault consummated by battery upon a child under 16 years old, sexual assault and assault consummated by battery, Mercure said.
In January, Wilson was ordered into pre-trial confinement after investigators uncovered allegations that he had sexually assaulted a woman in South Carolina while he was absent without leave.
Although the jury found him not guilty of sexual assault and assault consummated by battery stemming from those allegations, Wilson was found guilty of being absent without leave from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4.
The jury will convene on Sunday to begin deliberating on Wilson’s sentence, said Mercure. It is too early to say what the maximum penalty Wilson might face is.
Wilson’s attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, said on Saturday that he was unable to comment on the verdict because the military judge in the case had ruled that Stackhouse was limited in what he could say to the media while the proceedings are ongoing.
Under the judge’s ruling, Stackhouse can only talk about procedural aspects of the case or correct mistakes published by the news media, he said.