Military Law Blog
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Good News Story!! My client was upgraded from a Bad Conduct Discharge to a General Discharge Under Honorable Conditions.
When I was contacted by a former Army Soldier last year, I was astounded by her story. Her service to this nation was truly astounding. However, the fact that she had received a Bad Conduct Discharge after suffering from severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) was unfathomable. This young lady […]
The Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals reverses sexual assault conviction based on appellant’s right to choose his military defense counsel.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]