A former prosecutor for the U.S. Army that often oversaw cases involving allegations of sexual assault has been found guilty of rape, as well as other charges, after a court martial that took place at Fort Bragg. Major Erik J. Burris’s total guilty charges included two counts of rape, four charges of assault, one charge of disobeying an order and one charge of forcible sodomy. He received a sentence of 25 years in prison for his crimes, and was dismissed from the Army and forced to forfeit all of his wages.
Burris had entered a not guilty plea to the charges. The Army has kept quiet about the case, with the announcement of the verdict among some of the only information released about the case. There are few details available about Burris’s crimes, and whether any other military personnel were at all involved, either as victims, accomplices or enablers. However, a spokeswoman for Fort Bragg said that there were multiple victims involved, which compounded the already serious nature of Burris’s crimes.
When he was originally charged, Burris was the chief of military justice in the 82nd Airborne division. As part of his duties, he reportedly supervised various other military prosecutors that handled a variety of criminal cases in the division.
The military has had a long history of scrutiny of how it has handled internal sexual abuse cases, so these charges for Burris are certain to be considered a breath of fresh air. However, the fact that it was a man in charge of sexual assault cases has caused many to demand that the military take a long look at how it lets these types of people into such positions in the first place.
If you have been a victim of rape or sexual abuse, you may be able to bring your abuser to justice. Contact the North Carolina sexual abuse attorneys at Lanier Law Group for more information on your legal rights and options.