- Jul 11, 2006
Honorable discharge for this pedo? Wtf? He should get more than 6 months and a dishonorable discharge so that follows him for the rest of his life. AND hes a Master Chief, what a disgrace.
The Navy has granted an honorable discharge to a former Naval Base Kitsap command master chief who was convicted last year of attempted child rape.
Edward E. Scott, 44, once the local base's highest enlisted man, was arrested after a sting operation in which an officer posed as the mother of young twins in an online forum. Scott was met by police at a Bremerton motel where he had arranged to have sex with what he believed was the mother and both children.
Convicted and sentenced in June to nine months in jail and three years of intensive sexual deviancy treatment, Scott retired from formal service in the Navy on Jan. 31.
His rank was reduced to senior chief petty officer, but he was allowed to retire with benefits.
Discharge records are covered under the Navy's privacy act. Naval Base Kitsap spokesman Tom Danaher could not comment, but the Kitsap Sun has reviewed a report confirming Scott's status that has circulated through the criminal justice system.
The result is surprising to Kevin McDermott, a former Navy Judge Advocate who's worked in military law since 1978. He now practices in California, and has most recently defended war crimes suspects from the Iraq war.
"I don't know if I've ever heard of a serviceman being convicted of a sex crime, getting an honorable discharge," he said.
Scott, who served 25 years, chatted from his home and work computers with an undercover detective posing as a mother of twin 12-year-olds in early 2006. The detective arranged a meeting with Scott for sex at a Bremerton hotel before work March 16.
Detectives arrested him, and a month later he pleaded guilty to attempted child rape and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, both felonies. Though he faced a 90-month sentence, a Superior Court judge allowed Scott to opt for a nine-month sentence if he would undergo treatment.
The Navy wouldn't comment on what proceeded internally before his retirement was completed. But McDermott said that according to protocol Scott would have had a hearing before a commanding officer, perhaps a captain or admiral, who would have likely conducted what's known as a "mast" hearing.
Such a hearing would have given his commanding officer the authority to reduce him one rank — which did occur — and to take away a limited amount of pay as well as restrict him to a base or quarters for a limited span of time.
However, his commanding officer could have referred Scott to a court martial, where he could have faced a dishonorable discharge, or a Navy "administrative separation board," which could result in a slightly less harsh bad conduct discharge.
Ultimately, McDermott said, the Navy could have tried him again for the same crimes as were filed in the civilian Kitsap County Superior Court, as the concept of double jeopardy doesn't exist in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In actuality, Scott was demoted one rank, honorably discharged, and retired with the benefits of the senior chief rank. He's due to finish the sexual deviancy treatment in March 2010, according to court documents filed in Kitsap County Superior Court.
The Navy's decision sends the wrong message to servicemen and women everywhere, said Glenn Maiers, a retired Naval Base Kitsap senior chief petty officer.
"What does that tell the (lower ranks)? The higher up in pay grade you are, the more you can get away with," he said.
Part of a wider trend, McDermott contends the Navy and the armed forces have not been "coming down as hard" on service members post-September 11th. From the military's point of view, the best theory McDermott has on the rationale is simply: "We need bodies."
In Scott's case, McDermott believes his honorable discharge could be a result of "karma." His long and successful career were simply too vast to overlook.
Scott, who joined the Navy in 1982, served as command master chief of not only Naval Base Kitsap, but also the USS Camden and the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group. His tour of duty has included time in Guam, Hawaii, Whidbey Island and San Diego.
He was the recipient of the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
"(His command) said, 'Thank you very much for your long and hard work,'" McDermott posited. "We're going to give you one tremendous kiss when you go."
Edward Scott enters "fetish12" a Yahoo! chat room, and meets "navydubletruble," a detective posing as a Navy wife. The topic turns to sex, involving the "Navy Wife's" fictitious 12-year-old twin children.
Scott tells the undercover detective to get a Bremerton motel room "with two beds."
Before work, the then-Command Master Chief of Naval Base Kitsap goes to a local motel in Bremerton at 5 a.m. He is met by Bremerton Police Detectives, who arrest him and interview him downtown.
March 19 and 20
Scott makes his first appearances in court after being jailed, as prosecutors file charges against him.
Scott pleads guilty to immoral communication with a minor and attempted rape of a child in Kitsap County Superior Court.
After delays, Judge Leonard Costello sentences Scott to a nine-month jail stay and a 3-year sex offender treatment program, known as a "special sex offender sentencing alternative."
After completing his jail time, Scott is allowed to retire from the Navy under an honorable discharge — with one reduction in rank and no loss of benefits.