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June 2022
Tim Bilecki

Major’s Dance and Courtesy Lead to Sex Assault Claim, Honorable Discharge

Sexual Assault, Fraternization, Conduct Unbecoming
Osan AFB, Korea
Air Force Major – O-4
BOI found no basis for sexual assault allegations, basis for conduct unbecoming. Recommended honorable discharge.

In the era of Sexual Harassment/Assault Prevention (SHARP/ SAPR), military service members are finding that even the most innocent conduct is being used to ruin the lives of good men and women. If those service members don’t fight back, the military justice system will roll over them without so much as acknowledging they were ever there. Such was about to be the case of an Air Force Major until he retained court martial attorney Tim Bilecki to come to his defense.

On an evening in October, the Major was at Kunsan Air Force Base socializing with fellow Airmen at the base’s hooches. As the night progressed, the group decided to attend a professional organization’s prom night event at the base club. Now, this club, Loring Club, was a location where both enlisted members and officers were allowed to congregate.  

During that event, attended by both officers and enlisted, the Major found himself dancing with a Staff Sergeant. Though it is perhaps not recommended for an Officer and Enlisted to find themselves on the dance floor together, the action was innocent enough and in public view of all who attended. However, in the era of SHARP, innocence can be turned into guilt with a mere allegation.

The Staff Sergeant accused the Major of inappropriate behavior during the dance. Now, unless you’re at a Middle School dance with chaperones keeping you at arm’s length apart, most modern dance moves could be interpreted as inappropriate by someone. Thankfully, video evidence presented a different narrative, and Bilecki would discover this to be the case once he was retained.

Unfortunately, the night wasn’t over for the Staff Sergeant. Later that evening, the Major walked a severely intoxicated officer back to her Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ). She made it safely, and the evening ended without incident. However, his actions were misinterpreted as attempting to engage in inappropriate conduct. Again, video evidence would later debunk this narrative.

The allegations levied against our client resulted in Article 15 being issued before we were retained to represent him. Making matters worse, the Major had relied on some extremely questionable guidance from his previously detailed military counsel, which brought an added layer of complexity to the case.  

Once we were on the case, we quickly realized both his innocence and the seriousness of the allegations against him. Though we are in Tampa, Florida, Bilecki jumped on a plane and headed to Korea to represent his client at the upcoming Board of Inquiry (BOI). This is an Air Force proceeding like a court martial, but it lacks certain protections, such as the adherence to the rules of evidence and the presence of a military judge.

Thanks to an aggressive fact-based defense, Bilecki was able to wield the truth and shape the BOI’s findings so that only a single instance of unbecoming conduct was substantiated. You see, the video evidence exonerating the Major was always there. The Air Force just wasn’t interested in any evidence that would clear the man. Once again, we have the era of SHARP/ SAPR and the need for commands to look tough to thank for this.

Getting Bilecki involved made all the difference for this Major. The BOI recommended an honorable discharge for our client, which theoretically opens the door for our client to return to service if he so chooses. The facts of the case matter, and it takes an experienced defense counsel to make sure the facts are presented.

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