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Court Martial Appeals Blog

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

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 […]

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

Conviction

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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 […]

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

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://courtmartial.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 […]

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