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Marine sex-assault prosecutor accused of touching woman inappropriately

Mar. 1, 2014 - 04:04PM   |  
22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, USS Bataan Members
Maj. Tom Jasper (Lance Cpl. Brian Lewis/Marine Corps)
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The former head of a Marine Corps legal team tasked with prosecuting sex assault cases will face an administrative hearing in March, accused of touching a female subordinate inappropriately.

Lt. Col. Thomas Jasper is scheduled to face a board of inquiry March 12 to determine whether he will stay in the Marine Corps, said Maj. Amy Punzel, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Installations West. While Marine officials did not specify what charges Jasper faces, an official characterized the alleged offense as an assault.

“Pursuant of the SecNav Instruction a Board of Inquiry is convened for one or more of the following: substandard performance of duty, misconduct, or moral or professional dereliction,” Punzel said. “Since the BOI is an administrative process, we are unable to release the details regarding this situation.”

Multiple sources said that last year Jasper was at an evening social event with a civilian female subordinate when he allegedly touched her rear end, an incident that was later reported by an observer. At the time, he was serving as the western regional trial counsel at Camp Pendleton, Calif. In that capacity, Jasper was tasked with prosecuting sex assault cases for the region.

Jasper’s lawyer, Marine Reserve Col. Jon Shelburne, said his client has denied all allegations pending the outcome of the board. Jasper declined nonjudicial punishment in favor of a hearing on the charges, Shelburne said.

Jasper is “confident that when the facts and circumstances come out, the truth will come out,” Shelburne said.

Punzel said Jasper was currently assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion and is not prosecuting cases in advance of his hearing.

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