A Marine colonel from Camp Lejeune will spend nearly five years in prison after being found guilty of sexually abusing a child.
Col. Daniel H. Wilson was sentenced on Sunday to 66 months’ confinement; the 240 days he has spent in the brig since January will count toward his sentence, said Lt. Col. Michael Armistead, a spokesman for II Marine Expeditionary Force.
“As you can probably imagine, the Wilson family is very disappointed and the impact is devastating,” said Phillip Stackhouse, Wilson’s civilian attorney.
Wilson, 56, will be transferred from the brig at Camp Lejeune to a long-term naval confinement facility, Armistead said on Monday. Marine Corps officials will determine whether Wilson will serve his sentence at the Naval Consolidated Brig, Chesapeake, in Virginia; Naval Consolidated Brig, Miramar, in California; or Naval Consolidated Brig, Charleston, in South Carolina.
The former II MEF operations officer, Wilson was also sentenced to be dismissed from the Marine Corps after a military jury found him guilty of sexually abusing a child under 12 years old several times in June and July 2016 at Camp Lejeune. Wilson was also found guilty of conduct unbecoming of an officer and being absent without leave.
After only 10 days into a rotation to Darwin, Australia, Wilson was fired as a liaison officer for unacceptable behavior, including making sexual comments to another colonel’s wife and sending crude Facebook messages to a female officer, Military.com reported.
Wilson has been in custody since January when investigators uncovered allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman. On Saturday, Wilson was found not guilty of sexual assault and assault consummated by battery for alleged incidents at Camp Lejeune and in South Carolina, but he was found guilty of being absent without leave when the incidents in South Carolina allegedly took place.
“Col. Wilson never disputed his boorish and sophomoric behavior in Australia or that he went to South Carolina between Christmas and New Years 2017 – only that his conduct did not rise to the level of unbecoming under the circumstances,” Stackhouse said on Sunday.
Wilson had been accused of abusing three children, but he was found not guilty of rape of a child and assault consummated by battery upon a child under 16 years old.
“We believe that the [jury] members worked extremely hard and were very considerate in their deliberations and we respect their verdict,” Stackhouse said. “However, many things took place outside of their presence regarding evidence that was allowed or kept from the members that will be the subject of a considerable appeal. The fight for justice continues.”