This case involves yet another false allegation of sexual assault in which the military prosecutors ignored obvious exculpatory evidence, in their overzealous “war on sexual assault.”
In this case, the “victim” was literally caught with her pants down. The Client was a Master Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps who was on TAD to Quantico, Virginia for training. While on TAD, he first met the “victim” who was selling timeshares at the mall.
After meeting, the two agreed to go out later that evening, the Client picked up the “victim” at her home, and the two went to Applebee’s for dinner and drinks.
After dining and drinking at Applebee’s, the two agreed to return to the Client’s motel room to continue the conversation and have more drinks. In the motel room, the Master Sergeant and the “victim” had another drink, and that is when the alleged victim claims to have “blacked out.”
At or around 5:00 AM the “victim” awoke from the sounds of her mother banging on the motel room door, looking for her and upset that she failed to come home on time the previous evening.
The “victim” quickly dressed and told her mother that she had been raped. The motive to fabricate the story was obvious; the young lady did not want to admit to her mother that she went to a motel room with a man she just met and had sex with him.
Mr. Bilecki tried this case and the Client was found Not Guilty on all sexual assault allegations.
To win this case, Mr. Bilecki conducted an extensive investigation including a careful review of the surveillance camera footage of the motel where the Client was staying the night he invited the “victim” back to his hotel room.
The video camera footage clearly showed the two of them walking into the motel lobby arm in arm. The defense team continued to review the footage and saw numerous instances of the couple walking up and down the stairwell together throughout the evening, appearing to be having a good time, including the time the alleged victim claimed she was blacked out.
The video also showed that both individuals were happy to be with one another, consented to whatever sexual acts occurred that evening and contradicted the alleged victim’s story.
To explain further to the jury why the “victim” would fabricate a rape claim, a member of the defense team traveled to Quantico, Virginia to interview witnesses and to conduct a crime scene examination.
Bilecki Law Group also utilized a private investigator to conduct a complete background check on the alleged victim and her family to uncover any additional motives or fruit for cross-examination. The defense team learned that prior to the “victim’s” allegations, the “victim’s” mother purchased and gave her a promise ring that symbolized the alleged victim’s promise to remain celibate until marriage.
Moreover, the investigation revealed that the alleged victim had a long history of drinking and smoking marijuana.
To attack the government’s position that the alleged victim was too drunk to consent to any sexual activity, notwithstanding that the surveillance video showed her walking up and down the motel stairs throughout the evening with the Master Sergeant, Bilecki Law Group retained the services of forensic toxicologist, Dr. Kippenberger, to put the alleged victim’s BAC into context and to refute her claim that she was blacked out.
Kippenberger utilized the fact that the alleged victim was an experienced drinker without any prior history of blackouts, before or after events, along with the video footage of her at the motel to conclude that the “victim” had what the defense termed, a “blackout of convenience”; it was easier for her to claim that she was blacked out then to tell the truth.
At trial, the defense aggressively cross-examined the alleged victim to expose that she was so embarrassed to be caught by her mother at 5:00 AM in a motel room with a man she just met – breaking her promise of chastity to her mother – that she fabricated a story to her mother that she was sexually assaulted.
The defense was also able to show that her story about conveniently blacking out was not medically supported, and perhaps most important, her claims were contradicted by the surveillance videos presented at trial.
The jury could see the “victim” walking arm and arm into the motel with the Client, and see the couple throughout the night, walking up and down the stairwell smiling and laughing and having a good time – that is until she was caught by her mother.
It took nearly a year for the case to trial, but it took only a few hours for the jury to acquit the Client on all sexual assault charges. He was, not surprisingly, convicted of adultery and sentenced to a one-grade reduction and a reprimand.
After trial, however, the defense team negotiated a post-trial agreement with the Convening Authority to have the adultery conviction set aside.