WPAFB, Ohio (WDTN) – A lieutenant colonel at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base has been cleared of wrongdoing after being accused of hurting his own child. This comes nine months after police executed a search warrant at his Dayton home in August.
On April 22, 2013 Dayton Police responded to a report that Lieutenant Colonel Val Finnell’s 11-year-old daughter had accused him of sexually abusing her. In August, police officers seized computers and other electronics from the Finnells’ home.
Since that day, Dr. Finnell and his wife have maintained their daughter makes up things due to a condition called Reactive Attachment Disorder or RAD. They say it shows up in children who are adopted.
Dr. Finnell spoke only to 2 NEWS Investigates, “The message is this, be very concerned about mental illness in your family. We had signs, we had symptoms that we saw for years that we didn’t understand and we probably should have gotten help sooner. It may have prevented a lot of this that is going on right now.”
Lt. Colonel Finnell has been the subject of investigations by Dayton police, Montgomery County Children Services and his employer, the United States Air Force.
Just days ago, Finnell received a letter from a high-ranking Air Force commander. 2 NEWS Investigates got a copy of it. It states, “On 1 April 2014, the allegation of sexual assault against Lt Col Val W. Finnell was disposed of with no action…”
Finnell said he was very relieved and thankful.
Now that Dr. Finnell’s name has been cleared by all three investigative units, his promotion to Colonel might come soon. He and his attorney are also hoping to get the Finnells’ property returned. That matter is now in Dayton Municipal Court.
“The Air Force has done a great job of respecting me, helping me out, no one has treated me any differently. I have great respect for my commanders,” said Dr. Finnell.
Pam Elliot asked, “And the Dayton Police Department?”
Finnell responded, “That’s a different story.”
Lt Colonel Finnell told 2 NEWS Investigates it “remains to be seen” if he and his attorney will file a defamation lawsuit against the City of Dayton.