General Court-Martial Dismissed
Military Criminal Attorney for Sexual Assault Allegations
Sexual assault cases are receiving more and more attention in every branch of the military and the government has continued to increase funding for the prosecution of these allegations in each service. Our military criminal defense lawyers are regularly asked to provide litigation training for military defense counsel and trial counsel, in the specific area of sexual assault litigation. These cases present a number of unique challenges for both the defense and the prosecution, and an experienced defense team is critical when you are facing such a serious allegation and the potential penalties that go with it.
Between the military trial counsel prosecutors and the investigating agency, whether OSI, CID, FBI, or NCIS, in most cases there will be a team of government prosecutors and investigators working to prove a conviction. The trial expertise and investigative experience of your MJI attorneys may be the only way to level the playing field. These cases are not the cases for a new defense counsel to try their first case with your future on the line.
A recent case study from a successful MJI Sexual Assault Defense will show the extent of our dedicated and exhaustive approach to defending against an allegation of sexual assault. In this case, after 8 months of litigation, the charges were finally dismissed in our client's favor. Here is a sample synopsis of the stages of the case and the successful approach that MJI used to fight the allegation of sexual assault against a Naval Officer overseas.
Case Preparation for the Results You Deserve
Military Justice International (MJI) recently represented a Navy Officer who was charged with one specification of Article 120 (Rape). Facing a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, the officer retained our firm and our MJI attorneys immediately began an aggressive analysis into the allegations presented. After 8 months of litigation and pre-trial preparation, our defense team accomplished a dismissal of this serious accusation, avoiding a General Court Martial altogether for our client.
Our MJI attorneys litigated pre-trial hearings, a lengthy Article 32 investigation, and motions hearings over four trips to Japan. Pre-Article 32 and Pre-trial planning included interviews with military witnesses in Japan, Afghanistan, Italy, Bahrain, underway on ships, and in the United States. We forced the government to produce an expert defense consultant to evaluate the alleged victim's inconsistent statements and actions after the allegation of rape.
To expose her motivation for a false claim, we deposed a critical witness in whose access was initially denied by the prosecution and by the General Court-Martial Convening Authority. MJI litigated multiple motions to suppress improper evidence, motions to demand necessary witnesses, motions to demand government production of expert assistance for the defense, and to compel necessary information to investigate the background and motives of the alleged victim.
The General Court Martial was set for trial as we continued to build our case through ongoing trial preparation, including witness interviews, discovery, and work with NCIS to review forensic computer evidence. On the eve of trial, the government prosecutors and the Convening Authority dismissed the entire case instead of proceeding to trial. Our client continued his successful military career.
Anatomy of a Successful Defense
- Case investigation
- Witness interviews
- Article 32 hearing
- Expert requests
- Expert consultations
- Demands for discovery
- Working with government investigation
- Building a character file
- Investigation of alleged victim's background
- Preparation from prosecutor's perspective
- Motions practice and argument
- Pre-trial preparation
- Trial strategy
- Pre-trial motions