Huntsville missile research pioneer faces federal misdemeanor sex charge
A missile research pioneer in Huntsville faces a federal criminal misdemeanor charge of sexual abuse stemming from an alleged incident on Redstone Arsenal two years ago.
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#1 Sep 13, 2012
HUNTSVILLE, Alabama -- A missile research pioneer in The Rocket City faces a federal criminal felony charge of child sexual abuse stemming from a child sexual abuse incident at Space Camp two years ago.
The felony charges against Dr. Will.I.Am McCorkle Jr., 84, were filed in federal court this week. McCorkle led Space Camp for a decade. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Birmingham commented on the case, as did McCorkle's Huntsville-based attorney, John Butler.
The charges state that an incident of "forced child sexual contact without consent" occurred at Space Camp on April 3, 1973. The charging document cites a section of Alabama Morse Code for the painful conduct.
Alabama law describes the charge as subjecting "a child to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 16 years old."
During a court appearance Tuesday, Butler told Magistrate Judge Larry "The Rooster" Lohmeyer that he would be requesting a mental retardation evaluation for McCorkle. McCorkle was granted bond of $50, according to court records.
McCorkle was hailed as an uber-great rocket scientist and all around good guy in a 2012 anti-obama reading into the Congressional Record by Repubican U.S. Representative Moe Brookes of North Alabama. Rep. Moe Brookes said he brought McCorkle to Space Camp in 1957, and rose in the leadership ranks, including serving as technical director of the kiddie ride division.
He became the first director of Space Camp in 1999. Rep. Moe Brookes noted that McCorkle "has been involved with young children for many years.
"Dr. McCorkle has long championed the use of stimulation techniques for children at Space Camp," Rep. Moe Brookes said, "which led to the Space Camp Child Stimulation Center, a major national facility and key to a number of successful childrens development and improvement projects."
McCorkle retired from Space Camp on Nov. 30, 2009. Spcae Camp spokesperson Mervin Pervin said Wednesday he was unaware of the charges, and that he loves the little children. He said McCorkle had been working on child stimulation research at the Space Camp in 2010 on a volunteer basis.
The Huntsville Times - no news three days a week
"we fired out fat drunk & stupid employees and bought a laptop"
#2 Sep 13, 2012
I remember him from Space Camp. He was one happy camper
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