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Monday, August 29, 2016

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: Military Officer Found Not Guilty of All Charges and Specifications in Sexual Assault Court-Martial Trial (UCMJ Article 120 and Article 125)


Military Criminal Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a military officer who faced a general court-martial (GCM) in which he was accused of the sexual assault of an intoxicated acquaintance was found not guilty of all charges and specifications by the military judge at his court-martial trial.  The accused military member was defended by military law attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.), and the trial was litigated over 4 days in front of a military judge alone.

The case is described in these news articles and online publications:


The military officer was accused by an acquaintance he had been drinking with in a group of acquaintances.  No one forced any drinks on the complainant, and no one perceived that the complainant was highly intoxicated or not in control of his mental faculties or physical abilities.  The complainant claimed he was too drunk to consent because he supposedly could not remember various events that evening, even though the complainant’s friends, to include a JAG attorney, all witnessed him engage in sexual behavior with the accused that they believed to be completely willing and consensual, which occurred during the claimed blackout.   

As most of these cases do, this case involved numerous motions, experts in forensic psychology, DNA/forensic chemistry, forensic data extraction and analysis, and sexual assault examinations (sexual assault nurse examiner [SANE]), and a complainant who initially refused to interview with the defense.  The case also involved vital information entered into evidence from the complainant's phone, which had to be compelled for defense forensic analysis because investigators did not take it during the investigation and the government initially opposed defense access to the phone.   

During the course of the trial, the defense exposed what we believed to be motives to fabricate or inaccurately remember and significant inconsistencies in the complainant’s story.  This included using the words of the complainant during investigative interviews and a real Article 32 hearing, in which he questioned whether he actually did consent, and he accused another individual of some of the offenses he later attributed to the accused.  The government’s DNA/serology/chemistry expert and SANE expert did not find evidence that was truly consistent with the claim, at most they couldn’t rule it out.  

As with many cases these days, this case involved memory issues due to alcohol consumption, and incorrect factual and legal assumptions based on those memory issues.  Moreover, it included addressing the impact of the military/political environment and sexual assault briefings which lead people to believe they are victims instead of taking responsibility for their own behavior and decisions. 

Ultimately, the defense argued that the case came down to the complainant’s motives and lack of credibility and reliability, to include multiple real possibilities raised by the evidence other than the guilt of the accused.  The judge then returned a verdict of not guilty of all charges and specifications (full acquittal).    

Had there been a conviction in the case, the military accused could have been sentenced to a dismissal (equivalent of dishonorable discharge), decades in prison, forfeitures of all pay and allowances and, in addition, he would have been required to register as a sex offender.  Thankfully, that did not happen and he can hopefully move on from this with a clean slate.

More will follow on this case.  In the meantime, however, while this military court-martial case was successfully defended, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in previous cases does not guarantee success in any particular future case.  No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law, can guarantee the outcome of any military trial or case.

For more information about the military justice system, particularly cases alleging rape and/or sexual assault in violation of UCMJ Article 120, type “rape” or “sexual assault” into the search bar above the blog posts.  Also, see:


We offer free consultations for a case you may be involved in.  Just call us.

Thank you.    

By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.
http://www.militaryadvocate.com

Blog postscript: Attorney Frank J. Spinner and I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) are former active duty military lawyers (JAG). Our perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon our experience as military defense lawyers and as civilian criminal defense lawyers practicing exclusively in the area of military law and military justice. This blog addresses issues in military law, military justice, military discipline, military defense, court-martial practice, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and other military and/or legal topics. Nothing posted in this blog should be substituted for legal advice in any particular case. If you seek legal advice for a particular case, please contact The Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens and The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in Southern Georgia (Robins AFB, Moody AFB, Macon, Warner Robins areas), Northern/Middle Florida (Pensacola, Ft Walton, Destin, Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, Duke Field, Panama City, Tyndall AFB areas) and Colorado Springs, Colorado (FT Carson, Peterson AFB, Air Force Academy, Schriever AFB, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Buckley AFB areas), but our military defense law practices are worldwide – we travel to wherever our clients are stationed or serving and need us.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

New Georgia Military Defense Law Office - Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, PC




WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA -- Civilian court-martial defense lawyer and military law attorney Richard V. Stevens is now opening a military defense law office in Georgia (the Warner Robins/Macon area), which can locally and regionally service:

GEORGIA

- Moody AFB
- Robins AFB
- Dobbins AFB
- Fort Stewart
- Fort Benning
- Fort Gordon
- Fort McPherson
- Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base

In addition, we can regionally service and easily travel to:

FLORIDA

- Eglin AFB
- Hurlburt Field AFB
- Pensacola, Fort Walton Beach, Destin, Panama City, Florida areas
- Tyndall AFB - Panama City, Florida area
- Patrick AFB - Cocoa Beach, Florida area
- MacDill AFB - Tampa, Florida area
- Pensacola Naval Air Station
- Jacksonville Naval Air Station
- Key West Naval Air Station

ALABAMA

- Redstone Arsenal
- Fort Rucker
- Anniston Army Depot
- Maxwell AFB
- Maxwell AFB, Gunter Annex
- Montgomery, Alabama area
- USCG Aviation Training Center, Mobile

MISSISSIPPI

- Columbus AFB
- Meridian Naval Air Station
- Keesler AFB
- Pascagoula Naval Station

Mr. Stevens is a former active duty JAG lawyer [prosecution (1995-1997), base defense attorney (1997-1999), and regional military defense lawyer (1999-2001)], a former state and federal trial attorney, a civilian criminal defense lawyer and he is a military law specialist who has handled military cases and military law issues for the past 20+ years. 

His military law practice, The Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, PC, is exclusively devoted to representing and defending military members facing military adverse actions, including court-martial trials [general court-martial, special court-martial, and summary court-martial], court-martial clemency (RCM 1105), court-martial appeal, Article 32 hearings, and all types of military disciplinary actions and investigations. This includes UCMJ actions, administrative board hearings, administrative discharge/separation ("ADSEP"), show cause hearings, nonjudicial punishment (NJP, Article 15, Captain's Mast), MEB/PEB cases, FEB hearings, BCMR appeals, performance report appeals, investigations by CID, OSI, NCIS, CGIS, IG, AR 15-6, CDI and command.

Attorney Michael Coco is associated with Mr. Stevens’ law office in an “of counsel” capacity.  He is a retired military trial judge, and previously served as a military prosecutor and as a base level and regional military defense lawyer as well.  Mr. Coco’s military law office is in Florida.  The attorneys’ respective biographies can be found at:


Regardless of the location of his office, Mr. Stevens travels to the locations of his military clients, around the world, to defend them in military trials and before military board hearings.  For example, he currently has military clients serving in Korea, Colorado, Washington DC, Arkansas, South Carolina, Illinois, Texas, Florida, and Georgia.  This is exclusively a military criminal/disciplinary law practice, Mr. Stevens does not represent military members in civilian courts, or in family law matters, nor does he represent any clients who are not military members or former military members dealing with adverse military actions.  

Whether serving in Georgia or elsewhere around the globe, we provide military defense legal services.  Initial case consultations are free. Please contact us at:

Toll Free Phone: 800-988-0602
Direct Phone: 703-798-3064
Direct E-mail: militarylawfirm@gmail.com
Website: militaryadvocate.com
Blog: militaryadvocate.blogspot.com
 

Sunday, July 03, 2016

HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY WEEKEND!




Happy 4th of July to you and yours!  Before the cookout and fireworks, please take a moment to give thanks for the brave men and women of our military, and their families, whose courage and sacrifice ensure our freedom.  And, please recall the amazing story of how we won our independence, despite all odds!