Now the family of the victim has filed a $25 million lawsuit against the Marine Corps for what they say is preventable pain and suffering.
Adrian Perry, the mother of the victim, contends had the Corps properly investigated Wilson for misconduct while he was posted to Darwin, Australia, her family could have been spared the tragedy, Military.com reported.
Perry’s $25 million tort claim against the Marine Corps was filed with the assistance of Don Christensen, a retired Air Force colonel and head of Protect Our Defenders, an organization dedicated to stamping out rape and sexual assault across the military.
If the Corps decides not to pay the tort claim, the family can sue, Christensen explained.
“The Perry family’s primary motivation in doing this is that they are concerned about the long term future of their children and the care that they will receive,” Christensen told Marine Corps Times. Victims of sexual assault and abuse, especially children, suffer a “lifetime consequences,” he added.
Wilson was suddenly removed from a leadership position in Darwin just after ten days for drunken and debased behavior, but according to an inspector general report, the Corps never followed up with an investigation, Military.com reported.
Wilson was assigned as a liaison officer to Marine Rotational Force-Darwin.
The incident in Darwin would largely have gone unreported if it had not come to light during Wilson’s court hearings over the sexual abuse allegations, Military.com reported.
Courtroom testimony unearthed that Wilson allegedly told the wife of the outgoing liaison that he thought her “thighs were sore from having sex with her husband.”
The inspector general report faulted Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, the III Marine Expeditionary Force commanding general, for not reporting the behavior to senior leadership.
The incident in Darwin happened several months before Wilson abused Perry’s daughter.
“It all depends on causation, can we show that the cause of injuries to the Perry family were the result of misconduct by the Marine Corps,” Christensen said. “I think we can because the Marine Corps' own internal investigation showed Gen. Nicholson failed to follow the law and as a result Col. Wilson was never held responsible.”
Wilson was found guilty of abusing one of the girls at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, but he was charged with abusing two other girls and sexually assaulting another woman. Wilson was acquitted of those other charges.
Wilson will be stripped of his retirement benefits and be dismissed from the Corps after he gets out of prison. He also will have to register as a sex offender.
The Corps in a statement to Marine Corps Times said it could not comment on ongoing litigation.
Shawn Snow is the senior reporter for Marine Corps Times and a Marine Corps veteran.