Military Predator gets 42 months

Former Momsen CO faces 42 months in brig

By Gidget Fuentes - Staff writer
Posted : Saturday Oct 29, 2011 8:58:40 EDT

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO The former officer of the destroyer Momsen, fired in April for what the Navy said was misconduct, will serve a 42-month sentence and be dismissed from the service.

Cmdr. Jay Wylie pleaded guilty Friday to charges of rape and sexual assault, and said that he attacked an enlisted woman and a female officer within the past year in separate incidents, both fueled by alcohol.

Wylie, who originally faced 15 criminal counts, including rape, aggravated sexual assault and sodomy, faced up to life in prison with the possibility of parole, dismissal from service, and forfeiture of all pay and benefits.

The 19-year veteran pleaded guilty to one count of rape, three counts of aggravated sexual assault and contact, and three counts of conduct unbecoming an officer. He pleaded not guilty to the remaining charges, which were dismissed under a pretrial agreement.

After a daylong general court-martial, the military judge, Capt. Carole Gaasch, sentenced Wylie to a 10-year prison sentence and ordered that he forfeits all pay and allowances and be dismissed from the service.

But under the plea deal approved by Navy Region Northwest, the convening authority overseeing the case, all but 42 months of confinement would be suspended if Wylie abides by the agreement and stays out of trouble. The agreement also provides some pay and allowances to continue to go to his wife and children.

Wylie, 40, had commanded the Everett, Wash.-based ship for almost 10 months when he was fired April 27, two days after he was accused of assaulting and raping an enlisted woman in his cabin aboard the ship while it was at Naval Magazine Indian Island, Wash.

The Navy reassigned Wylie to a desk job in San Diego, where he has been working as a staff officer with Cruiser Destroyer Readiness Directorate at Naval Surface Forces in Coronado. On Aug. 15, he was formally charged with one count of rape, two counts of aggravated sexual assault, two counts of abusive sexual contact, one count of sodomy, two counts of maltreatment, three counts of conduct unbecoming and four counts of violating general orders, according to the charge sheet. One month later, Navy Region Northwest referred the case to a general court-martial.

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"When we go into battle, I will be the first to set foot on the field, and I will be the last to step off, and I will leave no one behind. Dead, or alive, we will all come home together." LTG Hal Moore, Jr., USA (Ret.)