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February 2020
Tim Bilecki

Unhappy Tinder Date Claims Sex Assault, Bilecki Exonerates Air Force SGT

Sexual Assault
Scott AFB, Missouri
Air Force Staff Sergeant – E-5
All charges withdrawn and dismissed after the Article 32.

An Air Force Staff Sergeant met the complaining witness on the Tinder dating application while he was attending an Air Force paramedic course in Tucson, Arizona.  At the time, the Staff Sergeant was TDY to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base (DMAFB), Arizona.  The Staff Sergeant and the alleged victim then connected via Facetime just to see one another and talk. Among other things, they discussed rough sex and “trying new things.”  The following day, the two went back to the alleged victim’s residence, where they had consensual rough sex.  The Staff Sergeant left the following morning without incident.

The next day, the Staff Sergeant joined his classmates out in Tucson at a local bar and everyone Ubered home after drinking.  That same evening, the alleged victim attended a party with some of her friends where she claimed to law enforcement to have consumed approximately one shot of “cherry vodka” and “a couple of sips of beer” before calling an Uber to meet up with the Staff Sergeant for a second consecutive night.  According to the alleged victim, she met up with the Staff Sergeant; this time, they went back to his room on DMAFB.  The alleged victim told investigators that she met with the Staff Sergeant that night with the intent to “hookup.”

Shortly after her arrival, the two again became intimate.  Initially, the two got into bed and began to kiss.  This led to oral and anal copulation, which led to digital penetration, which led to both parties performing oral sex on each other simultaneously.  This led to digital anal penetration, which was followed by attempted but unsuccessful anal sex. After that unsuccessful attempt, the parties had intercourse until completion.  After which, both parties fell asleep in each other’s arms in bed.  The following morning, after waking up, the parties again engaged in sexual intercourse. Afterwards, they showered, gave each other a hug, and the alleged victim departed.

Sexual Abuse of a Child
domestic violence on girl

Three days later, the alleged victim made an allegation to local law enforcement that she was sexually assaulted by the Air Force Staff Sergeant.  The incident was referred to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI).

This is yet another classic example of a completely consensual sexual encounter between two consenting adults who met on a dating site turned into a sexual assault allegation.   The Staff Sergeant adamantly denied the allegations to law enforcement, who simply refused to believe him, no matter how absurd the allegations were.  After realizing that the AFOSI did not have his back, the Staff Sergeant retained Article 120 UCMJ sexual assault lawyer Tim Bilecki, to represent him.

What followed was an investigation that took over one year for the AFOSI to complete for reasons that are simply beyond comprehension.  Nearly a year later, the alleged victim told the Air Force that she no longer wanted to prosecute the case because she would rather “study abroad” in Europe.  The government then informed the defense team that it did not intend to prosecute the case.  Shortly thereafter, her study abroad program was canceled due to COVID-19, and she then informed the prosecution team that she still “wanted to go forward.”  

Disregarding the merit of the case, the Air Force preferred charges against our client for forcible sexual assault and an Article 32 hearing was scheduled.  While many military and civilian attorneys often advise service members to waive the Article 32 hearing, we typically do not.  Instead, our office used the investigation we previously conducted and drafted lengthy and aggressive RCM 405(k) matters for the Preliminary Hearing Officer, and Mr. Bilecki made a compelling argument to the PHO as to why the charges did not meet even the low standard of probable cause.  

The Article 32 Hearing Officer agreed with the defense and drafted a report stating that the allegations did not even meet the low standard of probable cause and that the charges should be withdrawn and dismissed.  Ultimately, the Convening Authority followed the recommendation of the PHO, and all charges were withdrawn and dismissed.

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