Search This Blog

Thursday, October 08, 2015

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

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 sexual assault and abusive sexual contact of an acquaintance was found not guilty of all charges and specifications at his military 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.). 

The military officer was accused by a woman he met online and went on a trip with.  Alcohol was involved, although the complainant denied that it had any impact on her or the case.  The case involved numerous motions, experts in forensic psychology, DNA and forensic chemistry, forensic data extraction and analysis, and sexual assault examinations.  The trial was litigated over five days in front of a military judge alone. 

During the course of the trial, the defense exposed what we believed to be motives and significant inconsistencies in the story.  The government’s DNA, serology, and chemistry experts did not find evidence that was truly consistent with the claim.  The medical doctor who performed the sexual assault exam could not opine on the consent issue, however, serious inconsistencies in the story emerged from his experienced testimony.  As with many cases these days, this case involved considerable text message evidence and testimony about lack of witness cooperation and evidence collection.

Ultimately, the defense argued that the case came down to the complainant’s credibility and reliability, and the accused client was found not guilty of all charges and specifications (full acquittal) by the military trial judge. 

Had there been a conviction in the case, the military accused could have been sentenced to a dismissal (equivalent of dishonorable discharge), up to 74 years 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 return to his military career.    

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.

No comments: