Ex-colonel sentenced in paternity case

By Brendan McGarry - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Dec 30, 2008 21:43:50 EST

CARLISLE, Pa. — A former Army colonel who was convicted earlier this year on charges related to cheating on a paternity test with a former classmate at the Army War College was sentenced Tuesday to serve a minimum of four months in county prison.

Scott M. Carlson, 53, was sentenced in Cumberland County Court to serve four to 23 months and pay a $500 fine. The sentencing was based on two felony conspiracy convictions for tampering with public records or information and attempted theft by deception.

When asked if he wished to say anything before the sentencing, Carlson, dressed in a dark gray suit, only said, “I respectfully decline, your honor.”

Bail was set at $75,000. It wasn’t immediately clear whether Carlson would post bail. After the sentencing he was handcuffed and led into a holding cell in the courthouse. He was later escorted out of the building and into a police van.

Carlson declined requests for comment from reporters gathered outside.

The case stems from a dispute over child support payments between Carlson and a woman with whom he had an affair. The crime “struck the heart” of the government’s responsibility to seek child support, Judge Edgar B. Bayley said.

Carlson, a 2007 graduate of the Army War College, was convicted by a jury in September on charges related to arranging for a classmate at the college, Col. Bruce S. Adkins, to take a paternity test for him. Adkins, who cooperated with investigators, is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 20 on related charges.

Contacted by Army Times after the sentencing, the woman who sued Carlson for child support said she is “fine with everything.”

“I am a little disappointed he didn’t offer an apology or anything because at some point his daughter is going to find out about this,” she said. The woman asked that her name be withheld to protect the identity of their daughter, now 10.

She and Carlson had an affair in 1997 while she was still in the service. Both she and Carlson were then assigned to the 240th Quartermaster Battalion at Fort Lee, Va., where he was a major and the battalion executive officer, and she was a specialist.

Cumberland County District Attorney David J. Freed said it was a “fair sentence.”

“We actually had a similar incident years ago — not the exact same charges, but very similar conduct — and that’s the exact same sentence that those perpetrators received,” he said. “I’m pleased that [the judge] recognized the serious nature of the crime and that it did, in fact, merit some jail time.”

Carlson’s attorney, Dennis E. Boyle, who asked the judge for Carlson to receive probation, described the sentencing as “excessive” and said he intends to appeal.

“We think there are significant errors in the trial itself,” he said. “We’ll be moving for a new trial and judgment of acquittal.”

When asked how the judge’s decision would impact the Adkins case, Derek R. Clepper, a senior assistant district attorney who helped prosecute the case, said, “We have to talk to the victim. We’re going to talk to the DA.”

No comments: