Military Prosecutor Facing Multiple Sexual Assault Charges
by Rowena Shaddox
Major Erik Burris has been the Chief of Justice for the 82nd Airborne Division, prosecuting dozens of cases over the years that include murder, domestic violence and sexual assaults.
“I wanted to be part of this justice process. I have been a believer in the military justice system,” Burris told FOX40 in an interview over Skype.
But now, the Sacramento native and UC Davis grad is himself facing a number of sexual assault charges, including the alleged rape of his own wife and assault on his children.
He said the allegations weren’t immediately reported until several months after his wife left him in late 2012.
“She proceeded to make more and more allegations. Each time she spoke to someone new she was accusing me of something else. And generally those accusations became more heinous as the process went on,” said Burris.
FOX40 unsuccessfully tried to reach his wife, but left word with her attorney. We have not heard back.
Officials of Fort Bragg declined comment.
“Even if I would be fully acquitted of the charges against me, my career is affectively over,” Burris admitted.
A career of more than 16 years, during which time, the major has gone to war and been deployed to Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan.
He hopes a report by the investigating Lt. Col., who is a female judge advocate, will help exonerate him.
“In her report, she spent the vast majority of it dedicated to pointing out my wife’s lies, her inconsistencies and that fact that she didn’t believe that any of those offenses had occurred,” Burris said.
Burris thinks today’s military is too quick to file charges on sex assault cases, to compensate for years past, when many weren’t.
“I’m also concerned about those women who may make valid complaints later on, but have their allegations dismissed because of the numbers of false accusations,” said Burris.
Visitation with his kids has been suspended for now.
“What I cannot get over and what pains me every moment of every day is the separation from my daughters. They are what matter to me more than anything else,” Burris said.