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Monday, December 10, 2012

American Special Operator Killed in Raid to Rescue American Doctor from the Taliban

The courage and sacrifice of American Special Operations forces is seldom fully understood except by those within their elite communities.  On occasion, we receive a glimpse of what they do for our country.  Seeking only to complete the missions - the most difficult missions - not to receive personal recognition or accolades.  Silent warriors, and the families who support them in the most difficult of personal circumstances.  Often not knowing where the operator is, when he will be coming home, or if he will be coming home.  

Recently, one such Special Operator was killed in the raid to rescue an American doctor from the Taliban.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and Team members.  The story, from ABC news, appears here:

Follow-up stories about the Operator appear here: 

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Civilian Court-Martial Lawyers: Military Noncommissioned Officer Represented by Attorney Richard V. Stevens Fully Acquitted of Rape/Sexual Assault Court-Martial Claims (UCMJ Article 120)

Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a military noncommissioned officer who was tried by general court-martial for charges alleging aggravated sexual assault (alleged nonconsensual sexual intercourse due to “substantial incapacitation” by alcohol – allegedly too drunk to consent) and attempted forcible sodomy was fully acquitted by the military court panel (“jury”).  The accused military member was defended by military law attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.).

The accused military client pled not guilty to the charges and specifications.  During the fully litigated court-martial trial, the defense exposed issues regarding inconsistent stories about the alleged events, the credibility of the accuser, and the believability of the allegations.  This included clarifying the actual law of substantial incapacitation as opposed to the military’s sexual assault briefings in which the law is intentionally and consistently misstated. 

Based on the testimony and evidence in the case, the court members found the client not guilty of all charges and specifications in the case (full acquittal).  The maximum authorized punishment for a court-martial conviction on the allegations in this case would have included decades in prison (50 years), punitive discharge (Dishonorable Discharge or Bad Conduct Discharge), reduction in rank to lowest enlisted rank (E-1), 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 on the military justice system, including military cases alleging rape and sexual assault (UCMJ Article 120), 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.