Reversal Sought For Smith Conviction

A story in today’s TheDay reports that attorneys for former Cadet Webster Smith have filed an appeal seeking a reversal of his court martial. The court martial was the first in the history of the Coast Guard Academy. Full story at

By Jennifer Grogan

Lawyers for former Coast Guard cadet Webster Smith will ask an appeals court to reverse his conviction for sexual misconduct on the grounds that the defense team at his court-martial was not allowed to fully cross-examine one of his accusers.

Attorneys will ask the U.S. Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse Smith’s conviction on charges of sodomy, indecent assault and extortion because the jury was not allowed to hear testimony that the accuser, a female cadet, had once had consensual sex with a Coast Guard enlisted man and then called it sexual assault.

“The excluded cross-examination would have devastated (the accuser’s) credibility, on which the government’s case depended completely, making it all but certain that the outcome in this pure credibility contest would have been different,” according to a brief filed by Smith’s lawyers from the WilmerHale law firm.

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