Eric Holt, an Air Force colonel accused of sexually and physically abusing two elementary-school-aged boys, won’t be charged with any crimes, USA Today is reporting.
Reviewing documents and interviewing witnesses connected to the case, USA Today revealed that on June 15, Major General James Jacobson, the Air Force two-star general appointed to review the case, determined that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with criminal charges against Holt, who had served as a battlefield doctor.
However, attorneys appointed to advocate for the young boys say that there is more than enough evidence, including photographs as well as testimony from credible witnesses.
The allegations against Holt emerged in October 2013. One of the boys, who had gone to visit Holt, woke up later that night having soiled himself. The boy told his mother that Holt “pulls on [his] penis and puts his fingers in [his] bottom.”
Those allegations were accompanied by a photo of the boy’s bruised penis.
It is not clear, as of this writing, what crimes were committed against the other alleged victim, or when.
Both boys were seen by a child psychologist, who deemed them credible. Furthermore, in addition to the sexual abuse allegations, the boys were also allegedly physically abused, having been observed with cuts and black eyes.
Jacobson, however, deemed statements from the mother of one of the boys as not credible. They are part of his reason in declining to press charges.
But Captains Lauren Kerby and Stephanie Howell, the attorneys for the boys, urged Jacobson to consider the testimony of the professionals.
“Whether or not she is credible, you have photos of injuries, statements by the boys, and an expert’s opinion that (their) disclosures are credible. These are the facts you need to prefer charges in this case.”
Lt. Col. Brus Vidal, an Air Force spokesman, said in a statement that Jacobson did what he had to do.
“In this case, the Air Force investigated the allegations, reviewed evidence and assessments from Maryland law enforcement and child service agencies and then determined there was not sufficient evidence to support the allegations.”
Holt has declined to comment on the allegations against him.
Holt was severely wounded in Afghanistan, where he served as a battlefield doctor, when an Improvised Explosive Device detonated near the vehicle he was riding in. He was thrown 35 yards from the vehicle and suffered severe injuries to his face, skull, and spine. He spent years in treatment recovering from those injuries. Now he is back to work, serving as an assistant professor at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences.