This case truly exemplifies how the Army is changing as a result of its war against sexual assault. An outstanding army Staff Sergeant was accused of abusive sexual contact after chewing out a junior Soldier for falling out on a ruck march. This particular Soldier had continuous disciplinary problems, a bad attitude, and was not putting forth much effort in PT. After an old school counseling session during PT, the staff Sergeant slapped the Soldier’s butt and told him to get back to the ruck march and actually put in some effort. With his feelings hurt, the Soldier made a patently false allegation of abuse of sexual contact for the butt slap. It is almost inconceivable that a slap on the butt during a ruck march to motivate a Soldier could possibly have some sexual intent. In this case, that fact didn’t stop army CID, nor did it stop the JAG prosecution team.
That one incident caused our client to be FLAG’d and placed under a full criminal investigation for article 120, UCMJ. Military sexual assault defense attorney Tim Bilecki was quickly retained and investigated the case. It rapidly became obvious that this was not only a false accusation made by a disgruntled soldier, but there was ZERO sexual intent in our clients actions. Yet because this was a SHARP Case, even after the full investigation, the command felt they needed to take “some action”. The case was taken to an Article 15 hearing. The command obviously expected our client to just roll over and accept punishment. We continued to fight this injustice at the article 15, and ultimately our client was found not guilty of any of the bogus sexual assault allegations
This is certainly not the first or only case where we have seen completely ridiculous allegations of sexual assault taken to court or some other adverse administrate of action. This could have potentially been career ending for an otherwise outstanding NCO. You have to take any instance of a SHARP investigation seriously to protect your career, no matter how ridiculous it may seem.