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Tuesday, May 23, 2023



Military Defense Lawyer (Former JAG Attorney) News:

Recently, in five different cases in 2023, military members defended by attorney Richard V. Stevens (Military Defense Law Offices of Richard V. Stevens, P.C.) achieved successful outcomes in the military sexual assault cases they faced.  Those five cases are described below. 

Military Noncommissioned Officer (NCO) Faced Sexual Assault Court-Martial.

In this military sexual assault case, an NCO client faced a court-martial trial in which he was accused of sexual assault and sexual harassment by a fellow military NCO who had motives to lie to shield herself from the consequences of her own behavior with him.  The case included two motion hearings, and a trial that lasted throughout the work week.  During the trial, the complainant’s motives to lie, inconsistent story, and character for untruthfulness were exposed, particularly through her cross-examination on the witness stand.  After very brief deliberation, the court members (military “jury”) returned a verdict of not guilty of all charges and specifications the client faced (full acquittal).  Shortly thereafter, the military NCO client was returned to the status he previously held, and retired honorably from the military. 

Military Junior Enlisted Member Faced Sexual Assault Court-Martial.

In this military sexual assault case, the junior enlisted client was accused of sexual assault by a fellow military member who he was at a holiday party with.  The complainant claimed she drank too much, could not have consented, and did not consent.  However, the complainant had multiple motives to lie and several different inconsistent versions of her story.  Her inconsistent stories were revealed during the Article 32 preliminary hearing, and the issues with her story, her background, and the case were detailed in multiple pretrial motions.  Ultimately, right before the motion hearing, the complainant supported an administrative outcome for the case, so she didn’t have to face exposure during the general court-martial trial.  That administrative outcome was approved, and the court-martial case against the accused was dropped. 

Military Officer Faced Sexual Assault Administrative Discharge Board Hearing.

In this military sexual assault case, an officer client faced sexual allegations made by a fellow military officer after drinking during a TDY.  The complainant claimed she was too drunk to consent, and did not consent.  However, it was very clear that she had motives to make false allegations to shield herself from the consequences of her own behavior with the accused, and she voiced these motives when she initially told her story.  The complainant also had multiple inconsistent versions of her story.  Shortly after making her allegations to military investigators, the complainant elected not to go forward with the case, but the military still proceeded with an involuntary administrative discharge board hearing (Board of Inquiry [BOI], Show Cause).  In the hearing, which is similar to a trial, the defense exposed these issues with the complainant’s credibility and motives.  Despite the low burden of proof for the government (preponderance of the evidence), the board members found that the client did not commit the alleged sexual assault, and they retained him in the military. 

Military Officer Faced Sexual Assault Investigation.

In this military sexual assault case, a military officer client faced a sexual assault investigation that was initiated by a subordinate who was angry with the client, and seeking to derail the client’s career with false allegations.  During the course of the investigation, the defense was in close, repeated contact with military investigators, including providing them with the identity of witnesses and evidence.  Ultimately, the defense was able to present alibi evidence that showed it was impossible for the accused military officer to have committed the alleged offense, because he was not event present at that location or event when the offense allegedly occurred.  The sexual assault case against the accused military officer was dropped, and the complainant faced discipline for his own behavior. 

Military NCO Faced Sexual Assault Investigation.

In this final of the five recent military sexual assault cases, an NCO client faced a sexual assault investigation initiated by a family member who was angry at him.  The complainant was shown to be a disturbed individual with past false allegations and recantations with law enforcement.  Ultimately, the case against the NCO client was dropped, and his military record was cleared. 

Had there been sex crime convictions in any of these military cases, the clients could have been sentenced to a punitive discharge, a lengthy term of confinement in prison (possibly decades) and, in addition, they would have been required to register as a sex offender.  Military careers and retirements would be lost, and future employment, education, and social opportunities would be destroyed.  Thankfully, the truth was exposed in these cases and the clients were spared this risk of devastation to their futures. 

While these five military court-martial and 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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