by Senior Airman Shane M. Phipps
366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
9/10/2013 - MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- Airman Basic Alexander Rowe, 726th Air Control Squadron, was found guilty of forcible sodomy Aug. 16.
After a three-day court martial, Rowe was sentenced to two years
confinement, demotion to E-1, a dishonorable discharge with forfeiture
of all pay and allowances. He is being transferred to Naval consolidated
brig, Miramar, Calif.
"On March 10th, Rowe was in a hotel room with several other Airmen who
he had provided alcohol to," said Capt. Andrea Hunwick, 366th Judge
advocate chief of installation law and prosecutor for the case. "The
victim was an Airman 1st Class who drank excessively to the point of
throwing up on himself, passing out in the shower and falling asleep in
his own vomit. When he woke up the next morning, he was (being sexually
In the eyes of the legal system, minimal physical force is required to
be considered forcible sodomy if the victim is under the influence,
"By law, if someone is intoxicated the only force necessary to complete
the offense is the force necessary to overcome their will," Hunwick
Upon thoroughly researching the case, prosecutors discovered the defendant's sexual assault history.
"We found a victim in 2008 who had alleged sex assault against Rowe, but
the case really didn't go anywhere because the victim was discharged
for using marijuana," Hunwick said. "So, the investigation was
Uncovering the alleged victim from 2008 proved to be an essential piece to the case, in more ways than one.
"It was very beneficial finding this individual because it showed a
pattern in Rowe's behavior, and provided the original victim a sense of
closure," said Capt. Jeanhei Dabbagh, 366th JA chief of military
justice. "I really think justice was served in this case."
For those involved in a trial like this, the serious impact sexual crimes have on the victims is evident.
"It's especially stressful preparing for these trials because these
cases affect real people," said Hunwick. "This current victim was very
much affected by what happened to him, he wants to get out of the Air
Force and has needed to receive therapy. You want to make sure they get
the justice they're after."
Hunwick and her team said this trial can shine a light on the relationship between alcohol and sexual assault.
"I want Airmen to understand alcohol is legally not a defense to any
crime to include sex-assault," she said. "Legally, it does not matter
how drunk you were, if you sexually-assault someone, you're going to be
treated like any reasonable, sober person would be treated. Intoxication
is simply not a defense."
In addition, the JA team said it is paramount for individuals to understand what can be considered a crime.
"Regardless of how one perceives a sexual act - minor touching, or even
sexual intercourse - such an act done without consent is a crime,"