201701.19
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Another Sexual Assault Aquittal

Our office received another sexual assault acquittal.  In this case, our client was charged with two specifications of Article 120 (Abusive Sexual Contact), three specifications of Article 92 (Violating a Lawful General Regulation by having an inappropriate relationship under AR 600-20), and Article 93 (Maltreatment). SSG D:  I would recommend Mr. Coombs to anyone.  When I…

201701.12
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Sexual Assault Acquittals

They may be just two simple words, but for our clients, the words are life changing – NOT GUILTY.  Over the past few months we have had the pleasure of representing Soldiers who were falsely charged with rape and sexual assault under Article 120.  In each of these cases, we obtained a result that enabled our client…

201611.18
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Rule 412 Should Apply to the Government

Military Rule of Evidence 412 is an exclusionary rule that places the sexual behaviors of an alleged victim of a sexual offense beyond the limits of relevancy.  Any evidence of the “sexual behavior” or “sexual predispositions” of an alleged victim is forbidden from being admitted in any proceeding.  The Rule does have three stated exceptions…

201610.25
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Inappropriate Relationship

The government typically charges a Soldier with entering into an inappropriate relationship when there was, in fact, no relationship.  The problem stems from a fundamental misunderstanding by the government as to what it required in order to actually enter into an inappropriate relationship under the regulation. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals has repeatedly held that…

201605.07
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Military Sexual Assault Convictions

The military received 6,083 reports of sexual assault last year.  Of those reported cases, 2,783 were sent to a military commander for disposition.  In a refreshing display of commander discretion, the convening authority decided that there was not enough evidence to pursue a sexual assault conviction in 770 cases.  Ultimately, 543 of the 2,783 cases went to court-martial. …

201604.29
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New Charges In Sexual Misconduct Case

The Washington Post is reporting that new criminal charges have been filed against Maj. Mark Thompson, a former U.S. Naval Academy instructor.  Major Thompson is being charged with making a false official statement and conduct unbecoming an officer. Asked in January of this year why he lied to authorities, Thompson described the immense pressue he…

201603.18
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AFCCA Affirms Guilty Plea For A False Sexual Assault Claim

A false sexual assault claim can ruin a Soldier’s life and career.  Unfortunately, many believe that false claims either don’t happen, or happen so rarely that it is not a concern.  These individuals typically ask “why would anyone put themselves through the judicial process by making a false sexual assault claim?”  For those that believe this,…

201603.14
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Spike in Sexual Assault Reports

The Washington Post recently published a very interesting article titled “Why sexual assault reports have spiked at the Naval Academy, West Point and the Air Force Academy.”  Each of the academies have seen an increased number of sexual assault reports in the most recent school year.  A Defense Department review pointed to a number of specific tactics…