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April 2010
Tim Bilecki

Bilecki Exposes Gaps in DNA Rape Evidence, Gets Not Guilty Verdict for Army SSG

Rape, Abusive Sexual Conduct, False Official Statement
Camp Zama, Japan
Army Staff Sergeant - E-6
Full Acquittal – Not Guilty of All Charges and Specifications.

Maximum Sentence:

  • DD
  • Life in Confinement
  • Total Forfeiture
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Federal Felony Conviction
  • Mandatory Sex Offender Registration

In a hard-fought week-long trial that hinged on complex DNA evidence, this case proved to be another victory for Bilecki Law Group, worldwide court martial defense attorneys, and a huge loss for the Army in their continued “war on sexual assault.”

A well-respected Staff Sergeant was charged with violently raping a female Soldier after drinking with her at a local on-post bar. He was also charged with abusive sexual conduct for an encounter he had with a different female two years prior (for which he had already received an Article 15) and making a false official statement for denying that he committed any wrongful sexual conduct. Court martial lawyer Tim Bilecki was lead counsel on the case.

During the Article 32 investigation, the defense cross examined both the alleged victims and revealed holes riddling both of their stories. We also chastised the government and thoroughly questioned law enforcement, demanding an explanation as to why the DNA evidence collected was never sent to the forensic lab for analysis.

We received no explanation for the failure to test the DNA. After the Article 32 hearing, the Investigating Officer recommended that the first sexual assault charge be dismissed and that only the second rape charge be referred to a court martial. As is typical, given the government’s war on sexual assault, the Investigating Officer’s recommendations were summarily ignored, and all charges and specifications were referred to trial. 

Immediately after the Article 32 Investigation, the defense, led by Tim Bilecki, a well-known Article 120 UCMJ military defense attorney in Japan, requested that the government appoint a private DNA forensic examiner  to the defense team. The defense also demanded that the DNA be preserved so that the defense could conduct independent testing, specifically for amylase. The government, with their win at all costs mentality, denied all requests for an independent DNA expert but instead sent the DNA evidence to the US Army forensic lab for testing.

The defense made a motion to the military judge to compel the government to compel the appointment of a private DNA expert to the defense team, which was ultimately granted. That notwithstanding, the government still refused to provide the defense with the critical DNA evidence until a military judge ordered its production — one week before trial.

With new evidence coming to light on such short notice, the defense worked around the clock with our DNA expert  and discovered that the government did not test all the evidence submitted to the USACIL lab and that the testing that had been conducted was not comprehensive. It turned out that specific testing could have been performed to exonerate our client, but the government refused to do it.

At trial, this failure to properly test the evidence in the case was exposed to the panel members during a lengthy cross-examination of the government’s DNA expert, who conceded to the defense’s theory of the case given the forensic evidence. In addition, the defense cross examined at the alleged victims and exposed their lack of credibility and the weaknesses in the government’s case. After a week of trial, our client was found not guilty of the rape charges, not guilty abusive sexual conduct and not guilty of the false official statement.

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