Staff Sergeant Jeremy Boyd, Army Medical Corps, appealed against being found guilty of indecent assault. (File photo)
An army medic found guilty of a “blatant breast grab” on a subordinate has appealed the court martial decision.
The victim said she hit Staff Sergeant Jeremy Leslie Boyd in the groin, after he touched her at Burnham Military Camp in September 2016.
But Boyd’s lawyer, Michael Bott, told a court martial appeal court in Wellington on Thursday that no-one gave evidence of seeing either of what a court martial judge had said would have been extraordinary incidents.
The military members who formed the equivalent of a jury at the court martial in April, decided Boyd was guilty of indecent assault and failing to comply with written orders for encouraging a subordinate to drink “to get wasted”.
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But Bott said they should have been warned that memories could change so that people sincerely believed what they were saying but they were wrong.
He did not say the woman who complained about Boyd was lying.
The woman, who was of a lower rank, said Boyd made what amounted to a “blatant breast grab” in a social setting, identifying three others she said were present. Two of them said they were not there and the third had no memory of it, Bott said.
She complained about Boyd more than two years later.
For the prosecution, Colonel Craig Ruane, said the presiding judge had told the military members several times that the woman might be truthful but nevertheless mistaken.
They would have understood there were problems with the evidence and they had to treat it with caution, he said.
The Defence Force cross-appealed against the penalty imposed on Boyd at the court martial.
He was dismissed from the service but the Defence Force said he should also have received a short period of detention.
However, the members of the three-judge court martial appeal court, commented dismissal from the service was a serious penalty in itself for someone with a long career who had reached a senior rank.
The court reserved its decision.
In July 2020, Boyd received a Chief of Defence Force commendation for his work as a medic in Iraq in 2018.
He joined the army in 1999. The rank he achieved of staff sergeant was a “middle management” equivalent, the court martial appeal court was told.