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Wednesday, July 15, 2020


Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, a military officer defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) had the sexual assault case he faced dropped by the military just before court-martial charges were to be preferred against him (UCMJ Article 120).

The military client was accused of, and investigated for, allegedly having sex with a military acquaintance who the client met at an event.  The defense denied the entirety of that claim.  The complaining witness was intoxicated and acting in a bizarre manner during the evening, as verified by the other witnesses who were present.  The day after the alleged event, the complainant did not act as if anything was wrong, but then her father picked her up and was unhappy about how the situation appeared.  Later, the complainant claimed she had been sexually assaulted by the client.  However, her claim made no sense in a variety of crucial ways and the defense was prepared to dispute her entire story. 

When the DNA evidence came back, it not only failed to corroborate the complaining witness’s claims against the client, but it introduced a new scenario and individual into the case.  The complaining witness demanded immunity, but still wanted to press forward with her claims against the client.  The client’s commander would not prefer charges, so the military found a commander above him to prefer the court-martial charges.  The defense was notified of preferral of court-martial charges and began preparing for an Article 32 hearing, including identifying witnesses who would refute the complainant’s story.  The complainant, presumably knowing that her credibility was damaged because of the observations of the other witnesses and her own behavior that night, changed her mind and elected not to participate in the case.  The military then dropped the case before court-martial charges were preferred. 

Had there been a court-martial trial and sex crime conviction in this case, the client could have been sentenced to a punitive discharge, a lengthy term of confinement in prison and, in addition, he would have been required to register as a sex offender.  Thankfully, the case was dropped and he was spared this risk of devastation to his future. 

While this military court-martial and sexual assault 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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