As a disgraced Marine Colonel prepares to serve over half a decade in prison for raping a six-year-old girl, a Lieutenant General in the US Marines may feel some of the heat from the fallout.
Colonel Daniel Hunter Wilson was only recently sentenced for the heinous crime he committed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in summer 2016, but an investigation from the Inspector General of the Marine Corps uncovered that Wilson was relieved from a leadership post months earlier in Darwin, Australia, for drunken misbehavior and inappropriate comments.
As such, IG is now placing blame upon III Marine Expeditionary Force in the Pacific commander Lieutenant General Larry Nicholson, for failing to investigate Wilson’s actions to the full extent of his abilities, giving rise to insinuations that the North Carolina incident could have been prevented.
According to Military.com, Nicholson acknowledged the findings of the oversight agency and accepted responsibility.
“Upon learning of this officer’s actions in Australia, he was fired and promptly recalled to Okinawa,” he said. “I accept responsibility for not taking follow-on administrative actions, and for not placing this officer on the Officer Disciplinary Notebook.”
It is unknown just how much trouble the flag officer is in, though there is little doubt that his career will be impacted.
Assigned as a liaison officer for Marine Rotational Force-Darwin for a six-month posting, It was only within a few days the Wilson had managed to rock the boat at his new posting, often in relation to alcohol and inappropriate sexual comments.
Completely unhinged, Wilson insulted co-workers, requested racy photos and underwear of a lower-ranking officer’s wife, sent explicit texts to a female officer and logged on to a female employee’s email account in order to ask a fellow officer out on a date.
Within ten days, Wilson was removed from his post. However, the IG report shows Nicholson wanted more evidence before taking any action.
“Col. Wilson told Lt. Gen. Nicholson that he was the victim of personality conflicts and individuals who did not understand his sense of humor,” the report states. “Lt. Gen. Nicholson viewed this narrative as credible and told IGMC he viewed the allegations that emerged in Darwin as ‘he said, she said,’ and that he believes Col. Wilson did nothing criminal … nothing illegal. He hadn’t broken the [Uniform Code of Military Justice]; he had just been stupid.”
Later, after being assigned to North Carolina, he would sexually abuse the pre-teen daughter of a major under his command.
For Lieutenant General Nicholson, the incident resulted in a direct counseling from the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Glenn Walters.
A 38-year infantry officer, Nicholson has seen combat command from Iraq to Afghanistan and is very active in the Pacific.
However, he declined to comment publicly on his own career.
“I am honored to lead the great Marines and Sailors of III MEF every day,” he said in a statement. “We are decisively engaged here in Asia every day with a challenging mission profile that keeps all of us busy and focused on warfighting. Just today North Korea launched another missile into the waters near Japan. III MEF forces remain alert and engaged in the region every day working closely with our allies and partners. We are and will remain ready if called to fight tonight.”
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