New processing center planned in Mount Sterling
Ky. electric cooperative receives loan guarantee
Contract awarded for I-69 work in western Kentucky
Annual Ford dinner to celebrate 90th birthday
Biden speaking to Urban League meeting in Ohio
Soldiers deploying from Campbell, Bragg
Pa. racetrack employee pleads guilty in horse case
Police: Woman tried to strangle child with rope
Appeals court upholds convictions in oil scam
Shoulder, lane restrictions in place along I-24
Central Kentucky winery auction off
2 buildings burn in Murray's Court Square
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Construction at Kentucky football stadium to go on
Custodian settles lawsuit against Greenup schools
Lexington mail plant moving in 2015
Century Aluminum, union reach 5-year deal
Police arrest escaped inmate, 3 others in Kentucky
McConnell credited with helping save jobs in ad
Volunteers needed for National FFA Convention
61 Ky. water plants recognized for performance
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Interstate closes after bee-carrying truck crashes
Paducah plant deactivation deal awarded
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4 plead guilty to fraud conspiracy

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Marine's sex assault conviction tossed; appeals court says leader's remarks influenced trial

Reported by: Associated Press
Reported: Thursday, June 5, 2014 11:06 AM EDT

A military appeals court says the Marine Corps' highest-ranking officer illegally influenced a jury with a series of talks about cracking down on sex assault cases and has overturned the conviction of an enlisted man.

In its May 22 ruling, the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals says commandant Gen. James Amos' push against sexual assault was unlawful command influence. The court set aside the 19-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, handed down to Staff Sgt. Stephen P. Howell in October. He was convicted in a South Carolina military court of rape and other charges against a Lexington woman.

The ruling comes as the military and Congress seek to crack down on sexual assaults in the ranks. In Amos' 2012 remarks, he said court-martial panels were becoming soft on such cases.


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