Teamwork and tenacity bring repeat offender to justice

  • Published
  • By Wayne Amann
  • OSI Public Affairs

When joint investigations are coupled with dogged perseverance, justice is served.

That was the formula and outcome that closed the case on a multiple offender stationed at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, in March, 2021.

Staff Sgt. John Stafford III was prosecuted and convicted of four rapes, one count of attempted sexual assault, one count of aggravated assault and two counts of simple assault.

He was sentenced to 18 years, six months of confinement, reduced in rank to airman basic, and given a dishonorable discharge during his General Court Martial hearing.

“The subject was tried, unsuccessfully, in the local jurisdiction with no prosecution,” said Office of Special Investigations Detachment 221 Commander, Special Agent John Steiner. “This case is one of the more serious offenses and sentences I’ve seen during my time in OSI.”

There were three separate OSI cases involving Stafford, in which Det. 221 teamed with the Mountain Home Police Department. The first two, in 2014 and 2018, were led by the MHPD, while the third, also conducted in 2018, was led by Det. 221.

It was the third, and primary, case that went to the General Court Martial. During the course of trial preparation, the trial counsel, Capt. Rachel Kennedy of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing Judge Advocate’s Office, Fairchild AFB, Wash., was able to analyze previous statements and re-engage with victims to encapsulate previously uncharged misconduct related to the 2014 case.

“Captain Kennedy was pivotal in taking the case forward where many would have dropped it,” SA Steiner said. “She went so far as to convince her leadership at Fairchild to remain on the case despite changing assignments in the summer of 2020.”

The teamwork aspect of this case cannot be overstated.

“The disposition in this case speaks volumes of the assigned trial counsel’s tenacity, and highlights the joint investigative efforts of the Mountain Home Police Department and OSI Det. 221 personnel, past and present,” said SA Steiner. “As with many of our efforts, the strong working relationships we hold with our base legal office and local law enforcement partners were essential to finding the truth and serving justice.”