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December 2016
Tim Bilecki

Navy Chief Faces Sex Assault Allegation from Junior Sailor, Charges Averted

Sexual Assault, False Official Statement, Fraternization
Yokosuka Navy Base, Japan
Navy Chief Petty Officer – E-7
All sexual assault-related charges withdrawn and dismissed, false official statements and fraternization disposed of via lower form disposition. No criminal conviction. No sex offender registration.

A Navy Chief was falsely accused of sexual assault by a junior Sailor after a night of drinking in the “Honch” outside the main gate at Yokosuka Naval Base. After being charged with general court martial, the Chief retained Tim Bilecki, an Article 120 UCMJ sexual assault lawyer who immediately began working with the military defense counsel at the Yokosuka DSO.  

Once Bilecki was retained and began investigating, the defense found witnesses never before interviewed by NCIS who were present the night of the incident and were prepared to testify that the accuser was making false statements about what happened that night.  These witnesses claimed that the junior Sailor had consumed no more than one or two alcoholic beverages over many hours and that she was actively consenting to her encounter.

Importantly, they also discovered that she had made a prior false allegation against another sailor in San Diego and had misled both NCIS and local police investigators in that case as well. The other falsely accused sailor was never charged and had agreed to testify at trial about the false allegation she had made about him.  In both cases, a consensual evening morphed into a delayed allegation of sexual assault only after her husband learned of her infidelity.

Bilecki brought this information to the prosecutors, and a deal was negotiated. Under the agreement with the prosecution, the Navy Chief would take responsibility only for the consensual encounter with a lower-ranked sailor, and the government would withdraw and dismiss the General Court Martial that had been based on the junior sailor’s false allegations.

While the Navy Chief had to endure the trauma and humiliation of being faced with such an accusation, those charges were ultimately dropped.  Not surprisingly, no criminal actions were ever taken against the sailor who made the false allegation.  

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