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Thursday, April 23, 2015

CIVILIAN COURT-MARTIAL DEFENSE LAWYERS: Sexual Assault Court-Martial Case Against Military Member Dropped by Government Prior to Trial (UCMJ Article 120)

Military Criminal Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, an enlisted military member who was facing a general court-martial in which he was accused of four allegations of sexual assault (UCMJ Article 120) had his court-martial charges withdrawn and dismissed (dropped) as trial approached.  The accused military member was defended by military law attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.). 

The military client was accused of sexually assaulting a civilian acquaintance in various ways during a night of drinking alcohol.  The case had been through an Article 32 hearing and trial was scheduled.  During the Article 32 hearing, the defense called witnesses who refuted the complainant’s story, particularly one witness who was a friend of the complainant and was present for the entire night.  That witness directly refuted the complainant on most of the significant points in her story.  The complainant was present for this Article 32 testimony and saw her story crumbling.  As trial approached, the defense continued to pressure for the complainant to turn over her phone and other records that were relevant to the case. 

The credibility problems of the complainant and her motives to fabricate her story became increasingly clear and the information sought by the defense would likely have further eroded her credibility.  As trial approached, the complainant chose not to go forward with the case.  The government then withdrew and dismissed the court-martial charges. 

Had this case gone to a general court-martial trial as originally intended by the government, the maximum authorized punishment for a court-martial conviction on the allegations in this case would have included decades in prison, dishonorable discharge, total forfeitures of pay and allowances, and sex offender registration would have been required. 

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.

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 Northern 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.

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