This week a noncommissioned officer defended by attorney Richard Stevens had the indecent acts charges (alleging two victims), and court-martial, he faced dropped by the government. During the Article 32 hearing, the defense raised legal issues with regard to the admissibility of the government's evidence, as well as credibility issues regarding the allegations and the alleged victims.
Based on these issues, which were fatal to the government's case, the Article 32 Investigating Officer recommended dropping the case, and that recommendation was followed - the charges and the court-martial were dropped by the government.
The maximum authorized punishment for a conviction would have been more than 10 years in prison. For clients represented/defended by Richard Stevens, that brings to ten, the number of military rape, sexual assault and sexual offense cases in the last couple years which did not result in a court-martial conviction for the government – either because the case was dismissed/dropped or because the client was found not guilty (complete acquittal). Please see previous blog posts for descriptions of those cases.
While these criminal cases were 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. For more information on the military justice system, please see our other blog posts.
By: Attorney Richard V. Stevens
Civilian criminal defense lawyer and military defense lawyer
Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, PC
Blog postscript: Attorney Frank Spinner and I (attorney Richard 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. 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 & The Law Office of Frank J. Spinner for a free consultation.