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Court Martial Appeals Blog

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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Where do I go to get “bad paper” out of my permanent file if I am already separated from the service?

If a reprimand or non-judicial punishment (NJP) is filed in your permanent file while you are in the service, it stays in there unless it is later removed. Sometimes, it is the reason you are later separated from the service. Sometimes you leave the service voluntarily. Either way, the reprimand or NJP stay in your […]

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CAAF reverses conviction for rape with prejudice because the Coast Guard improperly selected a panel saturated with women.

On 23 January 2018, the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) overturned a conviction for rape and other charges in the Coast Guard case United States v. Riesbeck. When Boatswain’s Mate Second Class (E-5) Riesbeck went to his court-martial in 2012 for allegedly raping a woman, he faced a seven member panel that […]

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Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces reverses my client’s conviction and sentence based on improper use of propensity evidence.

The year 2018 has started off with a good news story! I argued in front of the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) for my client Army Major (MAJ) Thompson recently and the CAAF ruled in our favor in January 2018. The CAAF reversed the ruling made by the Army Court of Criminal […]

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Army Court of Criminal Appeals reverses conviction based on a bad search.

On 13 December 2017, in United States v. Morales, the Army Court of Criminal Appeal (ACCA) reversed PFC Morales’ court-martial conviction for abusive sexual content, indecent viewing and indecent recording. In this case, a female soldier alleged that PFC Morales sexually touched her while massaging her legs. After the alleged touching the female soldier and […]

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