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November 2021
Tim Bilecki

After 8 Hours of Duress, Soldier Falsely Confesses to Sex Assault, Gets 18 Months

Sexual Assault, Extramarital Sexual Conduct
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii (Case Tried at Fort Jackson, SC)
Army Corporal – E-4
18 months confinement, dishonorable discharge.

It can often be said that truth is stranger than fiction because there are some scenarios one just couldn’t make up if they tried. Yet, the truth is a double-edged sword that will simultaneously set you free and hold you accountable at the same time. There are times when a client just cannot escape accountability for poor decisions, and this is one of them.

An Army Specialist, who is an African American male, was attending a mortar party with a female at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. A substance referred to as “jungle juice” began to be passed around, and the individuals at the party became highly intoxicated. The female attending the party reached a point where she was too intoxicated to continue in the revelry, and she retired upstairs to a guest bedroom to sleep. 

The Army Specialist in question continued to check on her throughout the night, and since he was her ride home after the party, he thought it best not to leave her alone in a house full of drunk mortarmen. Unfortunately for the Specialist, he continued to drink throughout the night and decided to fall asleep in the same bed as the female.

When the female awoke the next morning, she found the Specialist in bed next to her without pants or a shirt on. The female told the Specialist that she woke up to an African American male having sex with her but that she was too drunk to put a stop to it. With the Specialist being an African American male, she immediately blamed him. Sexual assault was reported the same day, and forensics took samples for testing.

Prior to the DNA results coming back, the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) interrogated the Army Specialist for hours. It is not uncommon under this type of duress for a client to come to believe in their own guilt. After nearly 8 hours, the client made an admission to sexually assaulting the victim. When the results came back, the DNA showed our client’s skin sample on the alleged victim/s pubic mound and outer labia. Here is where it takes an unbelievable turn.

The DNA also came back for semen of another male, which was found on the alleged victim’s cervix, the outer area of the vagina and our client’s scrotal swabs. The DNA belonged to our client’s squad leader, who was also an African American male. It became clear that African American male that raped the victim was not our client.

The DNA did still implicate our client in some form of misconduct, and CID confession was still heavily used by military prosecutors. The prosecution put forward the notion that our client had sex with the victim after the squad leader and may have used a condom, which minimized the forensic evidence. Trace evidence testing was conducted, which showed a condom may have been used, but the nature of the testing was not conclusive.

The CID quickly charged the squad leader but continued the case against our client as well. The trial was moved to Fort Jackson, SC and tried before a military panel. The case lasted for five days, and based on the confession, DNA and trace evidence, our client was convicted, despite not being the man the woman remembered raping her that night. 

Without that confession, the government would have had an extremely difficult time obtaining a conviction. Remember, that’s the confession he offered up after over 8 hours of interrogation. Meanwhile, the squad leader knew he was the guilty party all along. Our client received 18 months of confinement and a mandatory dishonorable discharge despite the government asking for significantly more time.

This is why it is vital for military service members to receive a competent and adequate defense strategy while the cases are still under investigation. You cannot count on military investigators to play fair, and military prosecutors will pursue a conviction at all costs.

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