- Posted September 26, 2011 by
Los Angeles, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Showbiz 'Avengers' showdown!
Trailer Film "LOST MARINE"
Whitelight Productions documnetary Wrongful Convictions will shed light on a problem with our justice system where the power of a select few can put you behind bars for crimes that others have committed or for no crime at all.
This story of Edwin Ehlers will show even in the military that a judicial system with no evidence and perjury can result in a sentence for 19 years and a wife that has to suddenly care for two kids and the military holding onto her husbands pay, even though he is classified on active duty. This story shows revenge and abuse of power.
USMC Sgt. Edwin Ehlers is one such recent casualty of political correctness, fed by egos run amok. A decorated US Marine who served tours in Cuba and Iraq, he is the recipient of numerous awards, including three Good Conduct Medals, a Combat Action Ribbon and multiple Navy Unit Commendations. I
In June of 2004, Ehlers was accused of multiple counts of rape and sexual abuse of a minor, allegedly involving the three year-old daughter of his ex-wife’s best friend. He was tried by a lone judge, and despite the complete lack of any physical or forensic evidence, the apparent misconduct of NCIS investigators and military prosecutors and a trail of lies told under oath by the young “victim”, her parents and Ehlers ex-wife, Edwin Ehlers was convicted and sentenced to 19 years confinement.
What masqueraded as evidence against this Marine was despicable; nothing more than an alleged statement that the victim made to the daughter of Ehlers’ ex-wife; a statement that seems to have been coached by the victim’s own mother, when she allegedly asked Ehlers’ step-daughter to “talk to (the alleged victim) about sexual assault”. When the victim was asked, she allegedly said only that “he” touched her, but gave no name.
And while that statement took on a life of its own and was accepted at face value by prosecutors and the court as prima facie evidence of guilt, the mountain of exculpatory evidence that would exonerate Edwin Ehlers was buried by the alleged victim’s family, the Marine’s ex-wife, the NCIS, the trial counsel and even the judge.
According to the Article 73 brief submitted by Ehlers’ wife Angela, the victim’s father swore that upon hearing the allegations of abuse, he took his daughter to the local Naval Hospital, where he allegedly reported the assault, but was told nothing could be done, because the alleged abuse happened so long ago. He maintained that he signed his daughter into the ER anyway and waited for a doctor. During the wait, his daughter allegedly told him that Edwin didn’t do anything to her. After getting frustrated with his daughter’s waffling and waiting for hours, he said he left. But a Freedom of Information Act request filed by Ehlers’ attorney turned up no record of the victim ever having checked into the ER that night, or the entire month of June 2004. Additionally, the girl’s medical records showed nothing but routine doctor visits since birth.
Ehlers’ Article 73 brief also alleges several other incidents of investigatory and prosecutorial misconduct:
In an NCIS forensic interview, the victim allegedly told her interviewer that Ehlers’ ex-wife and a boy named James (who had allegedly once put his hands down the victim’s pants) had witnessed the alleged rape. She also stated someone told her to say what “he” did to her, but she couldn’t remember who it was. She also was reported to have thanked the agent for “telling me what he did”.
Neither Ehlers’ ex-wife nor James were never questioned about what they allegedly saw. Another NCIS agent submitted supporting documents dated May 25, 2007 that stated that Edwin Ehlers had confessed and admitted guilt, yet the official NCIS investigative report, written 14 months after the alleged confession, stated:
“A review of S/Ehlers’ SRB was unremarkable. Criminal history inquiries were likewise unremarkable. When interrogated, s/Ehlers denied wrongdoing. S/Ehlers subsequently submitted to a polygraph examination, at the conclusion of which, it was the OPINION of the examiner that S/Ehlers had been deceptive to the relevant questions. During a subsequent interrogation, S/Ehlers made tacit admissions; however continued to deny wrongdoing as alleged by V/S”
While NCIS conveniently can’t seem to locate the alleged failed polygraph or the results, the Article 73 brief indicates that Edwin Ehlers was polygraphed a second time by Paul Redden of the San Diego Police Department. That polygraph was quality-checked by three other examiners who concurred with Redden that Ehlers was being truthful when he denied knowledge of the alleged incident.
NCIS also failed to exercise due diligence by not following Department of Defense Directives to notify the command Family Advocacy Program in suspected cases of child molestation. NCIS investigators told Angela Ehlers that the FAP was not available in 2004, yet the directive which established the FAP clearly shows that it was available as of 1992.
Perhaps most egregious of all, impeached testimony was still accepted by the judge. As a result, Ehlers’ wife contacted the prosecutor after Edwin’s conviction, asked if he was duty bound to report falsified evidence to which he replied yes. But to this day, he has refused to accept Angela Ehlers’ evidence, despite the fact her article 73 petition for a new trial has been accepted by the Navy/Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.
Edwin Ehlers was charged in June 2004. He was tried in August 2007, a delay of over three years which was never satisfactorily explained. Like Sgt. Brian Foster before him, Edwin had the unfortunate bad luck to end up at the wrong end of an ex-wife’s scorn. And like Brian Foster, he was found guilty, without a shred of evidence. In the end, the prosecution never put the step-daughter on the stand, never questioned the boy James, nor Ehlers’ ex-wife about what they saw.
While it’s business as usual for the judge and prosecution, Edwin Ehlers slowly rots in a cell in Leavenworth, his children grow up fatherless and his wife, forced into single motherhood, struggles to survive while fighting for her husband’s freedom.
They said he failed on of two polygraphs but the failed polygraph mysteriously went missing.
After the military found out more details about the film they took away dental and healthcare to his wife and two children. Then they forced him to sign dishonorable discharge papers.
Whitelight Productions produces the films and subjects that no one else wants you to see or hear! Fliming will be in Kansas and Washington, DC.