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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Civilian Court-Martial Lawyers: Senior Military Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Represented by Attorney Richard V. Stevens has Court-Martial Charges and Case Alleging Rape and Sexual Assault (UCMJ Article 120) Dropped by the Government

Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a senior military NCO represented by military law attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) had the court-martial allegations, and case, he faced dropped by the government. 

The client faced court-martial allegations that he raped and sexually assaulted a civilian associate.  The allegations were unclear and inconsistent, but one version of the claim may have been that she was too intoxicated to consent to sexual activity (UCMJ Article 120, “substantial incapacitation”).  Another version was that she was forced. 

Leading up to the pretrial Article 32 hearing, as the defense was conducting witness interviews and our own investigation into the claims, more information came out that raised significant questions not only about the credibility of the complainant, but directly about the truth of her claims (admissions to witnesses that the claims were not true).  The defense pushed to be able to interview the complainant and to question her, under oath, during the Article 32 hearing – at which point she withdrew her interest in pursuing the case.  The charges and case were then dropped by the government, exonerating the NCO and clearing his record. 

Had this case proceeded to trial by court-martial, if convicted, the NCO client faced the possibility of significant prison time, dishonorable discharge, reduction in rank to E-1, forfeitures of pay and allowances, and sex offender registration.  While the court-martial in this case was dropped, and the case was successfully defended against, it is important to understand that every case has different facts, and success in some previous case(s) does not guarantee success in any particular future military case.  No military lawyer or civilian defense lawyer, including those who specialize in military law, can guarantee the outcome of any military case. 

For more information on the military justice system, please see our other blog posts, including:  (  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 Colorado Springs, Colorado and Southern New Jersey, but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed.

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