- Full acquittal
- Not guilty of all charges
- Mt. Fuji, Japan (Trial held in Okinawa, Japan)
Branch of Military and Rank
This is yet another full acquittal in a military sex assault case tried by civilian attorney Tim Bilecki and hard-hitting military counsel Capt Rob Plagmann.
This case was yet another false rape allegation by a female Marine followed by a sloppy, biased investigation in order to make our client, a Black Belt MCMAP (Marine Corps Martial Arts Program) Instructor Trainer another statistic in the military’s war on sexual assault.
Fortunately for our client, he had two heavy hitting attorneys who thoroughly investigated the case, uncovered the exculpatory evidence law enforcement refused to obtain, exposed the “victim” as a self-serving, manipulative liar and handed the government a Not Guilty verdict after five days of trial, with the government pulling out all the stops to try to convict our client.
This case began in the summer of 2011 after our client and the alleged victim, a female junior Marine, met at Camp Fuji, Japan. At Camp Fuji, there are approximately 180 Marines, 95% of them being male. The complainant in this case was a manipulative young Marine who used her status as a female to get what she wanted from her seniors.
You probably already know a female Marine (or Soldier, Sailor or Airman) like this girl: When speaking to an NCO she adds Sergeant to the sentence about 5 times and stands at parade rest, but as soon as the Sergeant leaves talks bad about them. This is the girl who sucks up to everyone who is senior in order to get something back.
The complainant made Marine of the quarter at Camp Fuji even though she had only been there a few weeks. She wanted to be the center of attention, and make everyone believe she was the most squared away Marine in the Corps. Unfortunately for our squared away “victim,” Mr. Bilecki and Capt Plagmann exposed her as a liar and manipulator.
This Marine had a schoolgirl crush on our client, who was a highly respected Sergeant and MCMAP instructor on base. This crush led to months of the complainant flirting with our client and she eventually hooked up with him in her barracks room. Word spread very quickly through the “Lance Corporal Underground” that the Marine of the Quarter was not the squared away Marine she claimed to be, but just another girl who had an inappropriate relationship with a married Sergeant (our client).
Not wanting to get her reputation tarnished, the junior Marine fabricated an allegation that our client had been aggressively pursuing her for months and that she was violently held down, strangled and raped by our client in her barracks room after a night of drinking at the Roadhouse bar on base.
When the alleged victim made her report, she had several bruises around her neck that she claimed came from our client choking her. The command immediately demonized our client and, of course, believed every word this complainant said. Our client was immediately prohibited from instructing in MCMAP, placed on restriction and treated like a criminal while the alleged victim was given an entire paparazzi of supporters and treated like a princess.
When Mr. Bilecki was retained on this case, we knew we were in for a long fight and that the case would be won or lost inside of a courtroom. Mr. Bilecki immediately started working with military defense counsel Capt Plagmann to properly interview all of the witnesses and obtain as much background on the complainant as possible in order to expose her as a liar and manipulator in trial.
Capt. Plagmann traveled to Camp Fuji, Japan and conducted extensive witness interviews of nearly every Marine who knew the alleged victim, saw her interactions with our client and could potentially testify to her truthfulness – or lack thereof.
During this investigation, we learned, and had witnesses to prove, that the pristine Marine of the Quarter had been flirting with our client for months prior (something she vehemently denied) and all of the Marines who were corroborating her story were part of a little clique of female Marines who did not like our client.
It was a complete high school drama. We also learned that the day after the complainant was allegedly violently strangled and raped by our client, she went to our client’s MCMAP class, had no injuries or bruises and acted completely normal around our client.
Mr. Bilecki then traveled to Yokosuka, Japan for the Article 32 hearing and cross-examined the alleged victim on numerous lines of seemingly innocuous questions in order to lock in her testimony for impeachment later at trial. The defense also called the Marines who were at MCMAP with the complainant the day after she was allegedly raped in order to establish that the bruising did not come from any strangulation or choking done by our client. This allowed us to build a timeline of when the bruising took place, something we would have to explain at trial.
Even after a lengthy Article 32 hearing, the government went forward with all charges, wanting nothing more than to convict our client, label him as a “rapist” and throw him in prison. We kept fighting and prepared to go to war in the courtroom.
In conducting our investigation, Capt. Plagmann made yet another trip to Camp Fuji to interview additional witnesses who could testify at trial to impeach the junior Marine’s version of events from the Article 32 hearing.
At trial, the complainant brought her paparazzi of victim advocates and supporters to sit in the front row of the courtroom each day of the trial, observe the proceedings and likely provide daily back briefs to her. The government spent an inordinate amount of time coaching the alleged victim on how to answer all possible questions the defense might ask her. Her testimony was so scripted that it was laughable. On her way up to the witness stand, she actually turned, did an about-face and said “good morning gentlemen” to the jury while at attention. In over 10 years of trying cases, we had never seen this before.
She was coached to make herself look like the most squared away Marine in the Corps but ended up looking ridiculous. Mr. Bilecki then extensively cross-examined her, setting her up for collateral attacks later in the trial. After she testified, Mr. Bilecki and Capt. Plagmann spent the rest of the week meticulously disassembling her fabricated story – exposing her as the manipulative liar she was.
The government also called the Chief of the Okinawa Sex Assault Prevention Program as an “Expert in Sexual Assault Victim Behavior.” She was supposed to be an independent expert, but in reality was a staunch advocate for victim’s rights, a friend of the prosecutor and had worked directly with the complainant and her paparazzi to coach and prepare her testimony.
She then testified how the complainant’s behaviors were “consistent” with someone who had been sexually assaulted. She even went as far as to give an example of how when a person is being raped they often dissociate and stare and fixate on the ceiling above them, saying that if the ceiling was wood, the raped person may often remember the exact grain of the wood.
Funnily enough, that was the exact same thing the complainant said when she testified, that she was fixating on the bunk bed above her when she was being “raped” and that she recalled the grain of the wood. Obviously, this was coached testimony in order for the government to win at all costs. Mr. Bilecki exposed this later during the trial.
The government then called the law enforcement special agent who handled the investigation of the case. The alleged victim had always claimed that our client called and texted her constantly, almost in a stalker fashion, but that she never responded to any of his calls or text messages. The cop testified that they seized her cell phone and confirmed that she never responded to any of our client’s calls or text messages.
After this testimony, Mr. Bilecki put on what some would call a clinic on cross-examining cops on a sloppy investigation. We hammered the cop on why a forensic review of the phone was never conducted, why instead they just looked at the phone and took screenshots, and why our client’s phone was never reviewed.
Mr. Bilecki then had the alleged victim’s cell phone brought into court and exposed to not only the cop, but also the jury, that the complainant had text messages to our client stuck in her unsent box on the phone.
Through this, we showed that the junior Marine had likely deleted all of the sexual and flirtatious text messages she sent to our client, but forgot to take care of the ones in the unsent box. This proved that the complainant had perjured herself on the witness stand and was a liar. Conveniently, the government and the alleged victim soon came up with yet another explanation for it. We also hammered on all of the other forensic testing that was not done in this case.
The defense then called the Marines who were at MCMAP the next day with her to show that she had no bruising the day after she was allegedly choked and strangled, and that she also acted completely normal around our client. A MCMAP demonstration was also put on during court to simulate various chokes during brown belt testing because the alleged victim did her brown belt testing a few days after she claimed to have been raped. We used this demonstration to account for the bruises on the complainant’s neck, showing that they were not caused by our client, but during her brown belt testing.
At the close of the case, the government played our client’s “confession”—which consisted of our client admitting to being in the complainant’s barracks room and having a sexual relationship with her.
At the end of a long five days in trial, the jury came back and our client was found not guilty of all charges and specifications. Of course, the complainant in this case was never charged for perjury, false official statement or any of the other crimes she committed in falsely accusing our client. She still enjoys her “victim” status in the Marines.
- Full acquittal
- Not guilty of all charges