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Recently, a company grade 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 before the case went to trial (UCMJ Article 120).
The military client was accused of, and investigated for, having sex with a civilian acquaintance after a night of drinking in which she claimed to be too intoxicated to consent and claimed that she objected. The case proceeded through an Article 32 hearing and was referred to trial by general court-martial.
The defense expected the witnesses and evidence to dispute that the complainant was too intoxicated to consent, and to confirm she had engaged in behavior that indicated she was interested in the client both before and after the alleged event. We further expected the logical inference from the testimony and evidence would be that all activities between them were willing and consensual. Finally, we expected the evidence in the case to expose the complainant’s significant credibility and motive issues.
As the defense filed specific discovery requests and expert requests, detailing the questionable information we expected to be exposed during the litigation of the case, the complainant changed her mind – knowing the truth would be exposed – and she informed the government that she was no longer willing to participate in the case. The court-martial case was then dropped, and the military elected not to pursue any administrative adverse action.
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 the officer client 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, see: https://militaryadvocate.com/military-offenses/sex-crimes/
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