A jury deliberated for nearly two hours Thursday before finding an Air Force technical sergeant not guilty of charges that he sexually assaulted a female airman.
Tech Sgt. Isaac O. Concey, a member of the 375th Aerospace Medicine Squadron based at Scott, was accused of inappropriately touching an enlisted female airman’s genitals without her consent while she slept in Germany in early May 2011.
Concey testified in his own defense Thursday morning, denying the allegations. Concey firmly denied sexually assaulting his accuser or making sexual advances toward her. The not-guilty verdict concluded the court-martial trial that began Tuesday morning.
Concey and his wife fought back tears after the verdict was announced. He declined comment afterward.
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Defense attorney Matthew Radefeld said, “All I can say is, this was the correct verdict.”
During the court-martial trial, prosecutor Ryan Reed tried to get Concey to admit to assaulting the woman.
“Sgt. Concey, it would look real bad if you were seen in a bedroom with (the accuser),” Ryan said.
“Yes sir, it would,” Concey replied.
“You violated her, didn’t you?” Reed asked.
“No, sir, I didn’t,” Concey answered.
“She’s lying?” Reed asked.
“Yes, sir,” Concey answered.
During his closing remarks, Reed sought to undermine Concey’s credibility, while bolstering that of his accuser.
Concey, as the accuser’s immediate supervisor, “has power over her, he’s abusing her repeatedly,” Reed said.
In the apartment of another sergeant where Concey allegedly assaulted the accuser on the night of May 13, 2011, that power took on even greater importance, Reed said.
“It’s because he knows she won’t say a word,” Reed said. “She won’t.”
Reed noted that the accuser had last week separated from the Air Force and had no reason to lie about the assault.
“She’s not trying to cling to a career. She has no motive,” Reed said. “The one person with the most incentive to lie is the accused. Everything is on the line for him. He knows it.”
Reed glanced at Concey’s accuser, who sat with other courtroom observers.
“It’s OK,” Reed said. “It’s OK.”
Reed then addressed the four female and three male officers who composed the jury.
“Tell him what he did was wrong,” Reed said said.
When it came time for Radefeld’s closing argument, he underscored for the jury that almost the entire case against Concey rested on the credibility of his accuser.
“The devil is in the details,” he said. “The storyteller is not believable. It is that simple.”
Radefeld focused much of his attack on the prosecution’s biggest weakness — its inability to show evidence that Concey even knew how to get to the apartment where the assault allegedly occurred, much less could enter the second-floor apartment without the other two people in the apartment seeing him come and go.
“Concey had no way to get into that apartment, and he didn’t even know where it was located,” he said.
The apartment was located a two-minute walk from the nightclub where Concey, his accuser and their co-workers had been drinking.
The apartment belonged to Tech Sgt. Benito Rios, who had offered to allow the accuser and her friend, Staff Sgt. Eva Doty, spend the night there. Doty had helped the accuser — who was drunk from the heavy consumption of whiskey-and-Coke cocktails — walk down the street and then up the stairwell to Rios’ apartment, where, after vomiting once, the woman fell asleep on the couch in the living room.
For Concey to enter the apartment, someone on the inside would have had to buzz him in through the ground-floor entrance, then unlock and open the apartment door.
But neither Rios nor Doty could recall allowing Concey in the apartment on the night of the alleged attack. The accuser, upon waking up the next morning, said she opened the bedroom door and saw Concey sleeping on the couch and then heard him speaking on the phone.
Yet Rios, a light sleeper, never heard Concey on the phone, nor saw him.
“She claims she heard Concey on the phone,” Radefeld said. “But then he vanishes like a ghost. (The accuser) is the only person who saw Sergeant Concey in that apartment that night.”
For months after the alleged attack, Concey and the accuser continued to share the same office at Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany.
“It was business as usual in the office she shared with her attacker,” Radefeld said.
The accuser did not say a word about the alleged attack and continued to socialize with him and his wife at a variety of events until Concey and his wife left Germany, Radefeld said.
Radefeld distributed to the jury a photo of Concey, his wife and the accuser standing close together at a workplace Christmas party held six months after the alleged attack.
“She is there striking a pose, looking as if nothing is wrong,” he said.
Reed, the prosecutor, had the last word with the jury. He dedicated his time to the emotional burdens the accuser faced in coming forward.
“She is here because she wants to be here,” Reed said. “She is here because she wants to tell you what happened to her. Inconsistencies are what make her more believable.”
Reed denied Concey was being prosecuted as a case of mistaken identity, but acknowledged that the accuser had waited a long time to come forward with her allegations.
“She’s shown her vulnerability to you in this courtroom. That’s powerful,” Reed said, adding it’s impossible to go back in time. “Her faith in the process is being tested today. The only thing you can do is give her justice. We ask that you give her justice.”
The jury began deliberating about 1 p.m. Deliberations lasted about an hour and 45 minutes.
Thursday’s session began with the emotional testimony of Concy’s wife, Staff Sgt. Megan Swift-Concey.
Swift-Concey testified that her husband did not stay out all night on the evening of May 13, 2011, the night of the alleged sexual assault.
“As best you can remember, he came home?” Radefeld said.
“Yes,” said Swift-Concey.
The accuser was called to the witness stand Wednesday morning, testifying about events that led up to the night sometime in May 2011, when Concey allegedly assaulted her.
The woman acknowledged drinking heavily that night at a nearby bar, and falling asleep on the couch at a friend’s apartment. The woman said she awoke in a bed, naked from the waist down.
“When I opened my eyes, I saw Sgt. Concey with his fingers inside me,” she said. “I didn’t have any shorts on or underwear.”
The woman waited until February 2015 to report the assault to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The catalyst was a role-playing exercise in an Air Force leadership training class she was enrolled in, she said.
Participants in the class each drew a card telling them what role they would play. The card Concey’s accuser selected told her she would play the role of a sexual assault victim.
“I started to panic,” she said. “I felt if I walked out everyone would know why. And I didn’t want that kind of attention.”
A few days later, she decided to speak to investigators and begin the process that led to Concey’s court-martial trial.
“I always wanted to,” she said. “But I never had the strength to come forward to tell what happened....I just didn’t want anyone else to experience what I did.