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Friday, February 15, 2019


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a senior non-commissioned officer (NCO) defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) retired honorable from the military after nearly three decades of service after having the sexual assault allegations he faced (UCMJ Article 120) dropped.

The NCO client was accused of sexual assault by a fellow service member who claimed she was too drunk to have consented and that she did not, in fact, consent to the sexual activity she alleged had occurred on the night in question.  The case was headed toward court-martial.  As the investigation progressed, however, and the defense provided evidence in the case, it became apparent that the complainant's story was contradicted by witnesses and evidence, to include electronic evidence.  Ultimately, despite the complainant's continued claim that she was victimized and did not consent, a court-martial was not pursued. 

The case did not end, however.  The military opted to attempt to administratively punish and administratively discharge the senior NCO based on these claims.  This is the latest trend in the military - when they recognize they will likely lose a case at trial, they take flawed, weak cases to administrative forums, where the burden of proof is much lower (preponderance of the evidence) and the rights of the accused are much more limited. 

Despite the military's effort to administratively discharge the client, the board members saw the case for what it was, disagreed with the command, and retained the senior NCO.  He then finished out his career and has now retired honorably.   

Had there been a court-martial trial and sex crime conviction in the case, the client could have been sentenced to a dishonorable discharge, decades in prison and, in addition, he would have been required to register as a sex offender.  Thankfully, the truth prevailed and he was spared this devastation to his future.  He can now move on from this case without the stigma of a sexual assault conviction which would have affected his life for the remainder of his days.  He also survived the government's attempt to kick him out and deny him a retirement through administrative discharge.  He is now an honorable military retiree, as the evidence showed he showed be, despite all the political and public relations pressure to sacrifice military members in the name of "believe the victim" and presumption of guilt. 

While this military court-martial and discharge 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 and 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: I (attorney Richard V. Stevens) am a former active duty military lawyer (JAG). My perspectives and advice, therefore, are based upon my experience as military defense lawyer and as a civilian criminal defense lawyer 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 for a free consultation. These military defense law offices are located in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Maryland, National Capital Region (NCR), but the military defense representation is worldwide – when necessary, the attorneys travel to wherever the client is stationed around the world.

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