Article 120: Rape & Sexual Assault Generally

A service member of the United States Armed Forces who rapes, sexually assaults, or physically abuses or threatens to abuse another person with sexual contact, groping, or unwanted sexual advances will be charged under Article 120 of the UCMJ.

Sexual Assault is at the center of a dramatic shift in military culture and UCMJ law. Thousands of service members have had their military careers and liberties stolen from them by a harsh and unforgiving new climate of victim worship. As this “War against Sexual Assault” continues unabated, more and more service members will see their military careers, liberties and benefits disappear before their very eyes.

Should you be convicted, you’ll likely face:

  • A possible prison sentence that likely ranges from 7 years to life.
  • A dishonorable discharge and the decimation of your character and reputation, both inside and outside the military.
  • The complete loss of healthcare benefits, military pension, and pay.

You’re facing a ruthless government opponent with unlimited resources at its disposal. Do not risk your future on a gamble. Retain the military defense team with a proven record of securing the best possible outcome in sexual assault cases: Bilecki & Tipon.

What Is Article 120 of the UCMJ?

Every article of the UCMJ requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a handful of critical assumptions—known as elements—to convict you of a crime. Eight separate criminal offenses are described under Article 120, each with its own set of unique elements.

(1) Rape involving contact between penis and vulva or anus or mouth

(2) Rape involving penetration of the vulva or anus or mouth by any part of the body or any object.

(3) Sexual assault involving contact between penis and vulva or anus or mouth

(4) Sexual assault involving penetration of the vulva or anus or mouth by any part of the body or any object

(5) Aggravated sexual contact involving the touching of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person

(6) Aggravated sexual contact involving the touching of any body part of any person

(7) Abusive sexual contact involving the touching of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person

(8) Abusive sexual contact involving the touching of any body part of any person

Summary of the Elements of Article 120: Article 120 can be simplified into four major offenses. From most to least serious these include: rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, and abusive sexual contact.

In the first two offenses, prosecutors will have to prove some form of penetration took place, often with the help of forensic evidence and the presence of physical damage done to the alleged victim. A physical abuse component is also present with aggravated sexual contact, although prosecutors do not have to prove penetration took place. Finally, abusive sexual contact is more often verbal in nature and requires prosecutors to prove that a victim was made afraid by the threat of sexual contact or violence.

Military Defense Attorney for Article 120 of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics

Article 120 has morphed in recent years to become one of the longest and most cumbersome articles of the UCMJ. The sheer volume of criminal offenses—eight in total, each with dozens of elements—does not even include the separate Articles of 120a, 120b and 120c, all of which deal with separate components related to sexual assault.

Despite the relatively recent addition of such a sprawling code of legalese, the defense attorneys at Bilecki & Tipon are more prepared than ever to handle your sexual assault case. In preparation for your trial, we’ll initiate a full review of the circumstances leading up and immediately following your alleged crimes:

  • Witness preparation: Is the case a classic “he said, she said” sexual assault trial, where the word of the alleged victim is pitted against the word of the alleged offender? We may take a number of actions, including strategicallycross-examining the victim to identify holes in his or her story, securing character witnesses to protect your reputation, and locating expert medical witnesses to counter any forensic evidence that prosecutors have against you.
  • Forensic evidence: Do prosecutors have DNA evidence or any other forensic evidence which allegedly puts you at the scene of the crime? Despite what prosecutors may have told you, this evidence is not guaranteed to convict you. Far from it. By hiring our own expert DNA consultants and experts, we can attack the government’s DNA evidence head on. In some cases, we can even have such evidence suppressed before it ever shows up in your trial.
  • Reduction of sentencing: Is this an egregious case of government overreach? This happens far more often than you’d ever realize. Attempts to turn you into a scapegoat, however, could backfire if the right defense team is retained in your trial. Bilecki & Tipon has defended its clients by securing reduced offenses, which could mean the difference between an administrative discharge and a punitive discharge, or 5 years in prison vs. 15.

Bilecki & Tipon has the resources and experience necessary to secure the best possible outcome for you in your sexual assault court martial. Make the call to Bilecki & Tipon TODAY for a consultation of your case.

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 120 Charges

Bilecki & Tipon has seen dozens upon dozens of U.S. service members caught up in what can only be described as a military witch hunt of epic proportions. Do not become another statistic in the “War against Sexual Assault.” Fight back today with some of the most aggressive and experienced defense attorneys operating within the Pacific and continental U.S. today!

Bilecki & Tipon will help you fight back against charges under Article 120: Rape and Sexual Assault Generally

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 120: Rape and Sexual Assault Generally?

The maximum punishment according to Article 120 varies according to the offense which was allegedly abused. For example:

Rape:

  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for life without eligibility for parole

In addition, rape includes a mandatory minimum sentence:

  • Dismissal or dishonorable discharge

Sexual Assault:

  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 30 years

In addition, sexual assault includes a mandatory minimum sentence:

Dismissal or dishonorable discharge

Aggravated sexual contact:

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 20 years

Abusive sexual contact:

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 7 years

When should I contact and hire a lawyer specializing in sexual offenses?

As soon as possible. The earlier you contact an experienced court-martial lawyer, the better chance you have to avoid conviction and imprisonment.

At Bilecki & Tipon, our toll free number is monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we accept calls from anywhere in the world. We’re available to handle emergency consultations during the critical first hours of a serious criminal incident. This immediate intervention from an experienced military criminal defense attorney can have a profoundly positive impact on the case.

What Our Clients Are Saying About Us

  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC His knowledge and experience were evident during the Article 32 where he seemed to sort of take control of the court room.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC This was the best investment I have ever made in my life. Again I am forever in debt to this firm.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his law group ARE that best team.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his team are extremely aggressive, thorough, and know what they are doing. They saved my life.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Do not go into the courtroom by yourself. Go in with a confident hard charging legal firm like Bilecki & Tipon.
  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his associates are amazingly qualified and skilled in handling UCMJ cases.
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