January 2021

Location:

Camp Foster, Okinawa – Trial Moved to Marine Corps Base Hawaii

Rank:

  • Marine

  • 0-2

Charges:

  • Rape.

Result:

FULL ACQUITTAL – Not Guilty of All Charges and Specifications.

A Marine Lieutenant was charged with sexual assault after sending a photograph to his girlfriend which showed her laying on the floor passed out in in a hotel room.  In a subsequent series of text messages, he stated that the picture he sent of her was taken immediately after he had raped her while she was passed out.  Needless to say, this was a daunting case from the start.  Anytime you are dealing with an unforced “self-confession” accompanied by photographic evidence of the scene taken immediately after the event, it is going to be a difficult case. 

Determined to win, Attorney Timothy Bilecki immediately began assembling a defense team which included associate attorney Benjamin Gold, digital forensic investigator Tim Bilecki, and forensic Phycologist Dr. Gabe Holguin.  In order to put context to the confession text messages and photograph that was sent, it was critical to have an intimate understanding of the nature of the relationship between our client and his accuser. 

Both the alleged victim’s cell phone as well as our client’s cell phone was obtained through discovery and through our digital forensic examiner, we were able to review the voluminous text message, photo and video sharing history between the two parties.  After reading over 10,000 pages of messages, it became obvious that the two had a tumultuous relationship which consisted of sexting, jealousy, fighting, sexual image/video exchanges, fantasy chat, role play, more sexting, discussion of break ups, making up, and then back to sexting, etc.  It was a year long vicious cycle of highly charged relationship dysfunction. 

Putting the specific confession text messages and picture into context for when and why it was sent was also important.  It became clear that this particular photograph and “confession text” was part of a larger sexual fantasy between the two.  It was apparent that even though the message was sent to her, she did not report it was a sexual assault until months later when our Marine client broke up with her.  Clearly there was motive to fabricate and use the text messages and photo against her boyfriend as revenge.

After forming the general theory of the case, our next step was to establish that the actions depicted in the text messages – a forceful, violent sexual assault – could not have occurred without the alleged victim waking up or coming to.  In order to establish this, we utilized the services of a forensic psychologist who specializes in the effects of alcohol on the body.  Given the amount of alcohol consumed by the alleged victim, as well as her actions the following morning and day, it was highly improbable she would have remained asleep or passed out through a violent sexual assault.  This evidence combined with her motive to fabricate was presented to the jury in a weeklong trial.  

After nearly a year of investigation, nearly another year of litigation, and a week of trial, the jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY to all charges and specifications in a matter of hours.

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