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April 2022
Tim Bilecki

Airman Facing Lew Acts on Minor Retains Bilecki, Avoids Jail Time

Lewd Acts on a Minor (x2) in Violation of Article 120b of the UCMJ
Misawa, Japan – Case tried at Fairchild, AFB, Washington
Air Force Airman – E-2
Mixed findings, no jail time, no punitive discharge.

Because military prosecutors boast about their high conviction rate, they often can bully service members into accepting deals that would never have happened if court martial attorney Tim Bilecki had been on the case from the start. Fortunately for an Airman out of Misawa, Japan, he brought Bilecki in at the last second and before it was too late.

This Airman was charged with inappropriate conduct with a minor, and the prosecutors wanted to make it seem like a slam dunk case. The reality is that such charges are complex, and it takes experienced legal counsel to navigate them in pursuit of the best outcome. Without such legal counsel in place originally, the Airman had accepted a deal that could have led to a five-year prison sentence. That’s when he called Bilecki, and that’s when his life changed.  We immediately backed out of that “deal.”

Through our own comprehensive investigation, we revealed several nuances that countered the initial narrative the prosecution put forth. The alleged victim had misrepresented her age and had not been completely honest about her interactions with the Airman. One would think that acknowledging the alleged victim’s deceit was a big deal, but prosecutors conveniently walked right by it like it never happened.

Next, we turned our attention to the military’s investigation. Military investigators often make mistakes throughout the process, and one doesn’t have to look too far to find them. In this case, the OSI agent who obtained the supposed “confession” was the culprit. We dove deep into the methods used and the circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the confession. There were significant deviations from established ICAC and OSI protocols, along with potential instances of entrapment. Questions about the reliability and legality of the confession significantly altered the trajectory of the case.

After a week-long trial where our investigation took it to the prosecution’s case, and our aggressive cross-examination obliterated the prosecution’s witnesses, the Airman was found not guilty of two of the charges. Remember, he had already agreed to a plea deal that would have put him in prison for five years until he brought Bilecki into the fight.

We continued to advocate for our client through the sentencing process, and because of our efforts, he would now receive no jail time and not even a punitive discharge. He would receive a sentence that included hard labor but without confinement. This is a far cry from the five years he was getting ready to sign himself up for.

As happy as we are for our client, his case is also a warning not to wait until the last second to bring in experienced counsel like Bilecki. We were able to rescue him from the jaws of defeat, but had he tarried much longer, he’d be swinging that hard labor hammer for the next five years in military prison. Don’t wait. When you are under investigation, get experienced counsel on the case and many times, they can stop charges from ever being preferred. If not, they’ll be on your side so that you don’t agree to some garbage plea deal because military prosecutors bullied you into it.

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