UCMJ Article 120: Sexual Assault

At Bilecki Law Group, we defend service members against charges of sexual assault under Article 120 of the UCMJ. We understand that your side of the story deserves to be told and we’ll fight to make that happen.

What Is Article 120 Of The UCMJ?

Article 120 of the UCMJ addresses crimes of a sexual nature that are committed by service members of the armed forces. These crimes include rape, sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact and abusive sexual contact.

Article 120 charges are some of the more serious charges a service member can face and come with devastating lifelong consequences if found guilty. If applied consistently and with true justice in mind, those consequences seem rather fitting.

The only problem is that we find little consistency from command to command, and justice is rarely the end game for the current military culture. Under heavy pressure from congressional leaders and media outlets to reign in sexual assault within the ranks, Article 120 has become a living nightmare for honorable service men and women.

How Is Sexual Assault Defined Under Article 120?

Article 120 goes out of its way to clearly define sexual assault and the various manners in which it can occur. As a result, we’re going to take those definitions straight from the UCMJ and apply them here. As you read them, you may think to yourself that there is no way you could be charged or found guilty under these definitions. However, you have to remember that the current climate within the military is that an accusation is enough to end a career. You cannot rely on your command to faithfully apply these definitions or to believe your side of the story.

 
 

Whether you spend life as a convict and sex offender or walk away a free man may very well depend on the experience of your defense attorney in court. Choose experience. Fight back with Bilecki Law Group today.

Sexual assault by fear, fraudulent representation, or artifice: For a service member to be found guilty, the prosecution must satisfy the following two elements:

(1) That (state the time and place alleged), the accused committed
(a) sexual act(s) upon (state the name of the alleged victim) by (state the alleged sexual act); and
(2) That the accused did so by
(a) threatening or placing (state the name of the alleged victim) in fear;
(b) making a fraudulent representation that the sexual act served a professional purpose;
(c) inducing a belief by artifice, pretense, or concealment that the accused was another person.
Sexual assault without consent – For a service member to be found guilty, the prosecution must satisfy the following two elements:

(1) That (state the time and place alleged), the accused committed
(a) sexual act(s) upon (state the name of the alleged victim) by (state the alleged sexual act); and
(2) That the accused did so without the consent of (state the name of the alleged victim).

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Sexual assault when victim is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware – For a service member to be found guilty, the prosecution must satisfy the following three elements:

(1) That (state the time and place alleged), the accused committed.
(a) sexual act(s) upon (state the name of the alleged victim) by (state the alleged sexual act);
(2) That the accused did so when (state the name of the alleged victim) was asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual act was occurring; and
(3) That the accused knew or reasonably should have known that (state the name of the alleged victim) was asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual act was occurring.

Sexual assault when the victim is incapable of consenting – For a service member to be found guilty, the prosecution must satisfy the following three elements:

(1) That (state the time and place alleged), the accused committed.

(a) sexual act(s) upon (state the name of the alleged victim) by (state the alleged sexual act);

(2) That the accused did so when (state the name of the alleged victim) was incapable of consenting to the sexual act(s) due to (impairment by a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance) (a mental disease or defect, or physical disability); and

(3) That the accused knew or reasonably should have known (state the name of the alleged victim) was incapable of consenting to the sexual act(s) due to (impairment by drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance) (a mental disease or defect, or physical disability).

The UCMJ then goes on to define “sexual act” as the penetration, however slight, of the penis into the vulva or anus or mouth; contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, scrotum, or anus; or the penetration, however slight, of the vulva or penis or anus of another by any part of the body or any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

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Can Article 120 End My Career If I’m Found Not Guilty?

It with great regret that we inform you that, yes, allegations of sexual assault can and will end your career if you don’t fight back. That’s right, we said allegations and not guilt. We’ve seen service members charged years after the alleged incident and when not enough evidence for a court martial could be produced, the command issues a GOMOR or other administrative separation procedures to end the career anyway.

If you are basing your defense around the hope that the truth will inherently prevail on its own, you’re asking for the worst possible outcome. It’s not right and it’s not justice, but that is the incontrovertible truth in the modern military. Your only option is to fight like hell to get the truth into the light and bring in a heavy hitting court martial defense attorney to make sure you don’t get screwed.

Remember, in most cases there was indeed a consensual sexual relationship taking place. In most cases, alcohol was involved and a good time was intended by all parties. All it takes is for one of those parties to change their mind or recollection of the event to make an allegation. This could be the result of a break up or finding out that you were sleeping with someone else. It might even come as a result of the second party trying to avoid their own legal troubles with the UCMJ. Meanwhile, the sum of your life and career hangs in the balance.

Sex crimes have destroyed promising military careers and put service members behind bars. Do not let it happen to you. Contact Bilecki Law Group for a free consultation into your case.

Separating “Eros” From The Military Culture Is Impossible

For those outside the military, like congressional leaders who have never worn the uniform, they assume it would be natural and professional to remove all sexual activity from military service. For those of us who have worn the uniform, we know that this is impossible. “Eros” doesn’t cease to become part of the human condition just because you swore an oath to defend this nation against all enemies foreign and domestic. To be honest, we know that half of you were dreaming of all the sexual partners you would meet, foreign and domestic, as a result of your service.

It is equally impossible to remove alcohol from military culture. Drunken sea stories are the stuff of legend in military circles and almost every young service member dreams of making their own. That you and another service member got drunk and bumped uglies with one another is not a crime. If there is a great disparity in rank, it might be wrong for reasons of military discipline, but you are not a rapist or Jack the Ripper. You’re a fit guy in your early thirties who found mutual attraction with a female service member in her mid 20’s.

You cannot let this current climate that exists within the military define you as a person. You have to fight back for your career, and you have to fight back for your own understanding of yourself. Not to mention, the max punishment under Article 120 is a dishonorable discharge, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, 30 years confinement, and a reduction in rank to E-1. This means you have to fight back if you don’t want your life absolutely destroyed.

How To Fight Back and Win Against Article 120 Charges?

If you are even under investigation for charges under Article 120, a fight is coming your way whether you wanted one or not. Your only option is to gear up for that fight and fight like hell for the truth. The truth is that you didn’t sexually assault anyone and we’re going to prove it. We’re going to take the shoddy investigation conducted by military investigators and tear it apart. We know that they did most likely did a shitty job, because they routinely do. They are so reliant on the military prosecutors winning cases because others don’t fight back that they skip steps throughout the process. You just have to know where to look.

We’re also going to share the truth about the person making false allegations about you. We’re going to share the truth about the alleged witnesses. We’re going to share the truth about every shady character in this entire process that is trying to bring down your good name. We’re going to fight back against your command that doesn’t care whether you are innocent as they just want their public example to show the higher ups they are taking it seriously. Nothing, and we mean nothing, is off limits in our pursuit of the truth that will set you free.

Short of murder, treason, or selling nuclear secrets to the enemy, Article 120 is the most serious charge you will face in the military justice system. Hell, you’d be better off selling nuclear secrets to the enemy right now than you are if you are facing Article 120 charges. The misuse and abuse of Article 120 is ruining the lives of good service members, both men and women, and unfortunately, we can’t defend them all.

We can defend you, that is, if you get us into the fight. Give us a call and we’ll give you a free strategy session that you can use whether you hire us or not. It’s yours, because if you are wrongly accused of sexual assault, we are already in the same fight together. That’s the fight for truth and to bring the abuse and misuse of the UCMJ to an end. Remember, even if you are innocent they are still coming for you. Give us a call and get us into the fight.

 

Bilecki Law Group will help you fight back against charges under Article 120c: Other Sexual Misconduct

Frequently Asked Questions About article 120c

Article 120c has multiple offenses, and each offense has a separate maximum punishment. From most to least severe, those maximum offenses include:   Forcible pandering:

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 12 years
  • Reduction to E-1

Broadcasting or distribution of an indecent visual recording:

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 7 years
  • Reduction to E-1

Indecent visual recording:

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 5 years
  • Reduction to E-1

Indecent viewing AND indecent exposure:

  • Dishonorable discharge
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 1 year
  • Reduction to E-1

Don’t just plead guilty… Fight Back !

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