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December 2019
Tim Bilecki

Sailor Accused of Sexually Assaulting a Japanese, Bilecki Gets Case Closed

Sexual Assault
Naval Base San Diego, California (Allegations from Okinawa, Japan)
Navy Chief Petty Officer – E-7
No court martial charges preferred.

A Navy Chief was arrested by the Japanese Police for allegedly sexually assaulting a Japanese national in Okinawa, Japan, while on Temporary Additional Duty (TAD). The Japanese Police investigated the case in conjunction with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS). Ultimately, the Japanese Police dropped the case due to a lack of evidence, but NCIS continued its investigation. Like a dog that won’t let go of a bone, NCIS refused to acknowledge any possibility of the Navy Chief’s innocence, even after he informed them that he was not in the area where the alleged assault took place.

Not wanting to wait around for a year while NCIS tried to ruin his life, the Navy Chief retained civilian defense counsel Tim Bilecki to represent him. After learning of the possible alibi, we had the Chief send his phone to a privately retained Digital Forensic Examiner (DFE) to determine if we could use the device to pinpoint his exact location during the time in question. Using GPS data and other artifacts on his device, we were able to build a near-exact timeline of our client’s whereabouts on the night in question. We then used text messages he sent and other information on the phone to prove it was in his possession when the alleged assault took place. We then had our DFE present this information in a report and submitted it to the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) office as an alibi defense. Based on those submissions, which were later validated by the government, the case was closed out without probable cause. Had this client not retained civilian defense counsel and a privately retained DFE, he would likely have been further implicated in the investigation and may have been criminally charged.

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