20 June 2010

Another Great Result!


SYNOPSIS OF CASE: The government charged 1LT G with the following: violation of Article 92 by entering into an inappropriate relationship with an enlisted soldier (SPC V); two specifications of violating Article 120 (rape and aggravated sexual assault) by engaging in a sexual act by using strength and by causing bodily harm; and finally violating Article 90 by violating a lawful order of his company commander.

SPC V, a 26 year old college graduate, entered the Army in order to receive the G.I. Bill. Prior to her deployment, she reached out to 1LT G on an online dating site. The two of them exchanged countless emails and Skype messages in the months that followed. During this time, SPC V learned that her unit was deploying to Iraq. Once in Iraq, she again reached out to 1LT G. Over the course of the next couple of months, they kept in constant contact through Skype. Their relationship progressed from friends to dating. After their relationship turned physical, SPC V wanted assurance that they were in a committed relationship. When confronted by SPC V, 1LT G. did not confirm the status of the relationship. Instead, he accused her of possibility sleeping with other soldiers. SPC V was insulted by his comments and testified at the Article 32 that on a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being mildly irritated and 10 being out of her mind crazy she was a 7. Shortly after this conversation, she accused him of raping her.

SYNOPSIS OF RESULT: After two days of testimony, the Article 32 Investigating Officer recommended not going forward on the 120 offenses. The defense was able to convince the IO that the relationship between 1LT G and SPC V, while improper, was a consensual one. Through effective cross-examination of SPC V and her friends that testified, the defense exposed the multiple versions of the alleged events by SPC V, her inconsistent behavior, her strong motivations to fabricate, and most importantly that she never told 1LT G “no” despite the fact nothing prevented her from doing so.

The government then tried to force an OTH resignation out of 1LT G by informing him that if he submitted one, they would not go forward with the GCM. When he refused to plea, the government instead went with a CG Article 15 and an OTH Show-Cause Board. 1LT G pled guilty to the consensual relationship at the Article 15 (losing $4,000.00 in pay). After a day long hearing, the show-cause board recommended that he be retained.

BEST GUESS FOR THE RESULT: The Article 120 offenses were the product of a false allegation. The difficult task was proving to the IO, the government, and the unit that this was the case. I started the defense by building a list of all of the facts that could not be overlooked, ignored, or dismissed. Once I had this list, I did my best to turn each of those facts into a positive one or at least a neutral one for the defense.

Perhaps the best piece of evidence turned out to be something that would normally hang a client – his computer. CID pulled all of the IMs and emails between SPC V and 1LT G from his computer. In the end, this gave us a wealth of information to effectively use SPC V’s own words to prove that the events of the alleged rape were actually consensual.


“Sticking it to the Man Since 1980”

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