Court Martial Appeals Blog

This is a blog focusing on Court Martial Appeals Issues.

CAAF Determines that Navy DJAG Improperly Influenced a Rear Admiral in Navy Seal Sexual Assault Case

September 11, 2018

In early 2014, Senior Chief Barry was charged with two specifications of sexual assault. He eventually went to trial and was convicted of one specification by a military judge. The finding and sentence came up to RADM Lorge, the Commander of Naval Region Southwest-San Diego for action. Although the Rules for Court-Martial governing the case […]

Court of Appeals

What is an unreasonable multiplication of charges, and why does it matter?

June 19, 2018

If you have ever read a court-martial charge sheet, you have probably wondered how one allegation of a crime could turn into five different charges. Prosecutors frequently break an incident down into multiple offenses when they prepare the charge sheet. For example, one fistfight could end up with several specifications of assault, one for each […]

Alleged victim’s refusal to participate in proceeding involving alleged sexual assault could lead to a speedy trial dismissal for the accused.

May 14, 2018

On 29 November 2016, Private Hendrix was charged with two specifications of sexual assault. However, the alleged victim refused to participate and testify in the proceedings. Therefore, eventually, the convening authority dismissed the charges. One day later, the alleged victim decided she did want to participate in a trial against the accused. The convening authority […]

What if I find new evidence after my court-martial?

May 4, 2018

If you or your loved one was convicted at a court-martial, it does not mean the opportunity to defend yourself is over. What if about a year after your court-martial you discover new evidence that could lead to a new finding that you are not guilty? In this case, you may petition for a new […]

CAAF reverses three Air Force sexual assault convictions in one day.

April 24, 2018

Recently, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) reversed three different Air Force cases based on their 2016 holding in United States v. Hills. In Hills, CAAF held that if a servicemember is charged with more than one sexual offense in a court-martial, one charge cannot be used as “propensity evidence” to show […]

The Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals reverses sexual assault conviction based on appellant’s right to choose his military defense counsel.

March 27, 2018

Yeoman Second Class Cooper (appellant) was convicted at a court-martial of three specifications of sexual assault and one specification of abusive sexual contact. He was sentenced to five years confinement, a dishonorable discharge, a reduction in rank and forfeiture of all pay and allowances. Appellant’s conviction was based on the allegations of Petty Officer Second […]

Military Judge failed to recuse himself, findings in sexual assault case set aside.

March 22, 2018

On 15 March 2018, the Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals (AFCCA) set aside the findings and sentence in United States v. Vargas because a military judge failed to recuse himself when he should have. In this case, Senior Airman (E-4) Vargas (appellant) was convicted of two specifications of attempted abusive sexual contact, three specifications […]

“Revenge Porn” is now a crime in the military.

March 6, 2018

What if your ex-boyfriend posts a picture of you naked on Facebook without your permission? It is now a crime in the military. Article 117a, “Wrongful broadcast or distribution of intimate visual images” has been approved and now incorporated into the UCMJ. Article 117a states that: Any person subject to this chapter who— (1) knowingly […]

CAAF reverses its own precedent based on the Statute of Limitations for rape.

February 25, 2018

On 6 February 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) reversed its own precedent in United States v. Mangahas by determining that rape of an adult is not punishable by death and therefore has a five year statute of limitation. In October 2015, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) Mangahas was charged with […]

CAAF reverses another sexual conviction with prejudice calling the case a “tangled morass.”

February 15, 2018

About two weeks ago, I wrote a blog about the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) overturning a conviction for rape and other charges in the Coast Guard case United States v. Riesbeck. https://courtmartial3.wpengine.com/caaf-reverses-conviction-rape-prejudice-coast-guard-improperly-selected-panel-saturated-women/. The Court dismissed that case with prejudice on 23 January 2018 due to the panel being improperly stacked with […]