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Sunday, November 03, 2019


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, three different military clients accused or rape and sexual assault, who were represented and defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.), had their cases dropped by the government (UCMJ Article 120).

The first military client was a senior NCO who was close to retirement.  He was accused of forcible rape by a civilian acquaintance.  As the investigation proceeded toward court-martial charges, the complainant’s story started to fall apart, which included text message evidence before and after the alleged event that did not match her story or make sense in light of her allegations.  Even though the complainant was willing to participate and go to trial with the case, the military decided to take adverse administrative action against the client instead, because they concluded that they would not prevail in trial.  This is now a common occurrence – the military concludes that they could not win at trial, so they attempt to punish and discharge the accused administratively.  In response to the military administrative adverse action against the client, we submitted a lengthy and aggressive rebuttal, with evidentiary exhibits including text messages and witness statements we obtained.  Based on the defense rebuttal, the case against the client was dropped, and he was cleared to move forward with his military career. 

The second and third recent military rape/sexual assault cases were against junior enlisted clients.  In both cases, as the investigations proceeded, the text and chat evidence that was uncovered was contrary to the complainants’ stories, and made no sense in light of their allegations.  When this reality became apparent to the complainants, in both cases, the complainants elected not to participate in the cases and the military took no further adverse action against the clients.  They were cleared to move forward with their military careers.    

All three of these cases involved “hook-ups.”  All three of these cases involved some amount of drinking alcohol.  In two of the three cases, the complainants had boyfriends behind whose backs the complainants were behaving in a very inappropriate way given the status of their exclusive relationships. 

These three recent military cases, again, raise the concern about how false allegations are made to shield a person from the personal and/or professional consequences of their bad behavior.  They show how false allegations are so harmful not only to the person who is falsely accused, but to those who are true victims of sexual assault and to the military justice system.  And, they show how electronic evidence can be crucial in exposing the truth, and not allowing allegations to be blindly believed because it is politically expedient. 

Here is an article written back in 2013 by a female executive and media member, who was also the mother of teen sons, that discussed some of these very troubling issues:

Had there been court-martial trials and sex crime convictions in these cases, the military clients could have been sentenced to punitive discharges, lengthy terms of confinement in prison and, in addition, they would have been required to register as sex offenders.  Thankfully, these military rape/sexual assault cases were dropped and the clients were spared this risk of devastation to their futures. 

While these military sexual assault cases were 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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