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Two agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) were pursuing a complaint lodged by his ex-girlfriend. Christopher Huisman, commander of the squadron to which Turpiano (as well as his accuser and virtually every other witness in the case) belonged, issued a broad no-contact order.
Overnight, his life was transformed as the chain of command he relied upon to vindicate his right to fairness turned on him swiftly and viciously. The directive contained a list of 38 names, preventing Turpiano from enlisting witnesses in his defense.
One witness, after capitulating to OSI and providing a statement, recanted his account and warned that it should be considered unreliable.
The government neglected to inform Turpiano’s defense team of this potentially exculpatory piece of evidence.
She worried in particular about dangerous politicization and bias in the commander-led disciplinary system, which threatened to give one airman the power to ruin the life of another with four simple words: “The case of Maj.
Michael Turpiano demonstrates just how horrifically valid that worry has proven to be …
If they couldn’t come up with anything, one of the agents would stand over them and tell them exactly what to write down.
One officer said an agent “interrupted me and told me to stop lying to them and to tell the truth or that I would be charged with making a false official statement.” Another testified that the same agent “was screaming at and threatening me.
The two agents working Turpiano’s case spent ten months compiling a 387-page report of investigation.At one point, in a truly bizarre development, squadron commander Huisman was brought into the interview room in uniform to assist with the interrogation.The law requires that a custodial interview cease when counsel is requested, and that counsel be present for any further questioning.According to trial testimony, she threatened in the course of that contentious breakup that if Turpiano walked away from the relationship, she would accuse him of sexually assaulting her.In March, 2013, Turpiano learned he was under investigation.