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…

201602.19
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Sexual Assault Crimes Under Article 120

The Judicial Proceedings Panel released a report on sexual assault crimes under Article 120. The following is the executive summary from the report. Article 120 is the statute used to prosecute sexual assault crimes under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). It has been substantially revised since the UCMJ was first adopted in 1951….

201602.03
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Alleged Victim’s Mental Health Records

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals (ACCA), recently reversed a military judge’s ruling that ordered the production of an alleged victim’s mental health records for an in camera review.  DB v. Colonel Lippert, Military Judge, and Ducksworth, Real Party in Interest, No.  201507690 (A. Ct. Crim. App. Feb. 1, 2016) (link to slip opinion). As is typical…

201512.15
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“Incapable of Consenting” Under Article 120

Under Article 120, a Soldier can be found guilty of rape or sexual assault if an alleged victim is incapable of consenting to a sexual act due to impairment by any drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance. This raises the important question – what does it mean to be incapable of consenting under Article 120? …