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March 2020
Tim Bilecki

Soldier’s BDSM Roleplay Goes Too Far, Defense Claims Mistake of Fact

Sexual Assault, Aggravated Assault, Strangulation, Possession of Drugs, Wrongful use of Drugs
Schofield Barracks, Hawaii
Army Private First Class – E-3
No charges preferred in sexual assault case; steroid possession resolved at NJP.

An Army Private First Class stationed at Schofield Barracks was accused of a violent sexual assault after an incident with a woman interested in BDSM, with whom he had an extramarital sexual relationship. The alleged victim claimed that a role-play fantasy involving a BDSM scene they planned and acted out went too far, leading to allegations of strangulation, physical and sexual assault. During the investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID), law enforcement found Oxandrolone, an illegal steroid and a controlled substance, in his home. The Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) office initially planned to prefer charges at a general court martial encompassing sexual assault and possession of a controlled substance.

Court martial defense attorney Tim Bilecki was retained on the case. Almost immediately, Bilecki’s law firm conducted a digital forensic examination of our client’s cellular phone to obtain a complete history of the text and chat communications between him and the alleged victim. While the alleged victim had denied that any of the sexual acts and role play were consensual or even contemplated, the text messages told a very different story. As it turned out, the two had extensive text and chat fantasy conversations about precisely the kind of sex she later accused him of as rape, which were juicy, to say the least. The texts corroborated the client’s version of events, indicating consent or at least a mistake of fact regarding consent.

Additionally, there were legal concerns regarding the search that uncovered the steroids. Once the government became aware of this evidence, a decision was made to not prefer charges against our client for the sexual assault. This left the drug charges, which were resolved through Non-Judicial Punishment (NJP), resulting in the loss of one rank, 45 days of extra duties, and a suspended fine of $1,000.

This case was just another example of a serious false allegation, the truth of which would never have come to light without the services of a civilian defense counsel with knowledge of digital forensics and the ability to have a digital forensic expert examine the evidence. It is quite possible that had this client not retained us, he could have been convicted and sentenced to decades in prison.

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