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September 2012
Tim Bilecki

Chief Faces Assault Charges After Mixed Signals, Bilecki Leads Legal Battle

Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassments, Indecent Language, and Fraternization
Defense Intelligence Agency, Korea
Navy Chief Petty Officer – E-7
No court martial, finding of no misconduct at the AdSep board, retirement saved.

The Chief was accused of sexual assault after one of his subordinates made an allegation that he attempted to sexually assault her in his off-base quarters after a night of drinking in Itaewon, Korea.

To celebrate a successful joint exercise in Korea, the Chief, along with his OIC and several members of the unit, went out for dinner and drinks in Itaewon. Many of the individuals went to a Norebang (Korean karaoke) to continue drinking and having a good time.

Realizing that they were about to violate the 0100hrs USFK curfew, the Senior Chief invited several members of the group to stay at his off-post residence to avoid violating the curfew. At the house, they continued to drink, and one individual, the female E-5, gave mixed signals that she was sexually interested in the Chief. The Chief, in turn, made comments that he wanted to have sex with her. If there was ever an “eggshell victim” in a case, it was her.

Following advances made by the Senior Chief toward the alleged victim, who was the one initially giving mixed signals, she lost her composure, yelled at him and ran out of the house. The alleged victim called her then-boyfriend and relayed her account of the event, claiming that she was sexually harassed inappropriately by the Senior Chief.

In keeping with the “war on sexual assault” being waged by the military, the Command went out of its way to ensure that the Senior Chief, with seventeen years of outstanding service, would be charged, convicted and thrown in prison.

Two days following the initial complaint, NCIS interrogated the Senior Chief, who, in an effort to “do the right thing,” provided a statement admitting that he made sexual advances toward the alleged victim. However, he adamantly denied ever touching her. Following the military’s unwritten “war on sexual assault” protocol, neither NCIS nor the Command believed the Senior Chief. Moreover, neither took any steps to corroborate his story, even though the “victim’s” story was not supported by any of the other witnesses.

When the Senior Chief realized the deck was stacked against him, he retained a court martial lawyer for Article 120 UCMJ sexual assault cases, Tim Bilecki. Unlike NCIS, we conducted a thorough investigation of the case. The investigation revealed that the alleged victim had a reputation for untruthfulness and exaggeration. Interviews also identified over a dozen witnesses who agreed to vouch for the Client’s character and duty performance.

After Mr. Bilecki challenged the Command with the evidence it obtained, the Command backed down, preferring not to commence with court martial charges. Instead, the Command took the Senior Chief to the Captain’s Mast (NJP / Art 15). Bilecki continued to fight and plead the case to the Command, but they were motivated more in making the Chief a statistic than they were in the truth. After the NJP, the corrupt Command referred the Senior Chief to an administrative separation board hearing, which was held in Yokosuka, Japan.

A relentless fighter, Mr. Bilecki represented the Senior Chief at the Administrative Separation Board to ensure the Client’s interests were represented fairly. Mr. Bilecki fearlessly exposed that the Client’s commander, an O-6 with DIA, violated a litany of the Client’s rights and committed unlawful command Influence by intimidating defense-friendly witnesses. After witnesses testified on the Client’s behalf at the NJP, they were called by the Command, who attempted to threaten and intimidate the witnesses supporting the Chief. These actions amounted to unlawful command influence and were patently illegal. Moreover, the O-6 was even caught altering official documents that pertained to the NJP, yet this also was not investigated.

Mr. Bilecki, relentless in the pursuit of justice, was given the opportunity to put all the facts before the board, from the exaggerating “victim” to the corrupt Command. Bilecki made it clear that he would continue to fight the false allegations against the Client.

After a lengthy hearing, the board members unanimously found no serious misconduct and retained the Client in the Navy. Following the extended and painful process, the Chief’s career and retirement were saved. While it was encouraging to see justice triumph, it was at the same time discouraging to know that Commanders who blatantly violated a subordinate’s legal rights and broke the law to convict a fellow Sailor are still serving with impunity.

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