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September 2022
Tim Bilecki

Bilecki’s Forensic Examination Saves Army SFC from False Sex Charges

Sexual Assault
Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan
Army Sergeant First Class – E-7
No charges preferred, no adverse administrative action.

The Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention office (SHARP) has a noble and righteous cause. That is to root out sexual assault from the ranks of the military, and one can hardly argue that this is a bad idea. However, the devil is in the details, as they say, and the details are how it is implemented. SHARP has created a command culture where allegations are treated as fact, and the presumption of guilt begins from the start.

Court martial lawyer Tim Bilecki was retained to defend a Special Operations Army Sergeant First Class who earned his stripes the hard way in foreign lands, gifting dirt naps to bad guys around the globe. This guy was a legit decorated warfighter who was now, unfortunately, being targeted by a vengeful civilian ex-girlfriend in Okinawa. She was in love and couldn’t seem to accept the end of their relationship.

Now, we’ve all likely felt the wrath of a lover scorned in life, but thankfully, for the rest of us, those lovers were not armed with knowledge of SHARP. She knew, as many romantic interests in the military now know, that the decorated SFC would be presumed guilty the second she made the allegation. Sadly, she was right.

Without even conducting a basic investigation, the CID took over the investigation and began to process his guilt without looking for basic evidence to the contrary. Fortunately for our client, we do the forensic investigations that military prosecutors try to avoid, and this one wasn’t even hard.

Our digital forensic examiner conducted a basic forensic analysis of our client’s phone and obtained the crucial text messages that proved the allegations were false. The message revealed the complainant’s motive to fabricate the allegations and the prosecution’s case that they were all too eager to rev up just crumbled right before their eyes.

Keep in mind that our client was always innocent. There was never any truth to the allegations, but if a free JAG defense attorney is more worried about looking good in the age of SHARP, maybe he/she doesn’t do the forensic investigation. Maybe they don’t want to rattle commands when cases start falling apart, and maybe they’re worried more about their own military career than your freedom.

We were in constant communication with the SJA office and Trial Counsel and presented the exculpatory evidence to them, leaving no room for doubt. The prosecution team had no choice but to do the right thing, and court martial charges were not preferred. Our client’s FLAG was removed, and he was able to quickly return to his duties fighting and winning America’s wars with his team.

This case provides a stark reminder of the dangers of the Army SHARP program and the importance of retaining competent counsel to fight false allegations of sexual assault. We were proud to have defended our client and to restore his good name. Remember, just like scorned lovers have learned that SHARP comes with presumed guilt, military service members have learned that making allegations of assault can get them out of their own trouble with the UCMJ.

If you are being accused, you are going to have to fight for the truth. It won’t come easy, and prosecutors will fight you at every turn with the full support of command. You need to get experienced counsel on your side and get ready for the fight of your life.

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