Article 120b: Rape & Sexual Assault of a Child

A service member of the United States Armed Forces who rapes, sexually assaults, or physically abuses or threatens to abuse a child under the age of 16 years old—regardless of whether the accused did or did not know the age of the alleged victim—will face charges under Article 120b of the UCMJ.

Sex crimes involving minors can spiral out of control in the blink of an eye. Almost overnight, the military will disown you, family and friends will abandon you, and you will be branded as a pariah—a sexual predator of children—all before you even have a court date set.

Despite how grim the situation looks now, it will only become worse should you be convicted:

  • You could face life in prison without parole for the rape or sexual assault of a minor. This is true even if the alleged victim lied to you about his or her age.
  • Should you escape life in prison, your life will still be in grave peril. Felony charges, a dishonorable discharge, and permanent sex offender status will effectively make you unemployable.
  • Your military benefits, pension and health care will be taken from you, giving you nothing to fall back upon once you are released from prison.

The risks could not be greater. And time is running short. Call Bilecki & Tipon TODAY to begin the process of protecting your liberties and your reputation before you lose them forever.

What Is Article 120b 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. Four separate offenses are defined under Article 120b. These offenses are further broken down by additional criminal accusations and their respective elements.

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

(a) Rape of a child who has not attained the age of 12

(b) Rape by force of a child who has attained the age of 12

(c) Rape by threatening or placing in fear a child who has attained the age of 12

(d) Rape by rendering unconscious a child who has attained the age of 12

(e) Rape by administering a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance to a child who has attained the age of 12

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

(a) Rape of a child who has not attained the age of 12

(b) Rape by force of a child who has attained the age of 12

(c) Rape by threatening or placing in fear a child who has attained the age of 12

(d) Rape by rendering unconscious a child who has attained the age of 12

(e) Rape by administering a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance to a child who has attained the age of 12

(3) Sexual assault of a child

(a) Sexual assault of a child who has attained the age of 12 involving contact between penis and vulva or anus or mouth

(b) Sexual assault of a child who has attained the age of 12 involving penetration of vulva or anus or mouth by any part of the body or any object

(4) Sexual abuse of a child

(a) Sexual abuse of a child by sexual contact involving the touching of genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person

(b) Sexual abuse of a child by sexual contact involving the touching of any body part

(c) Sexual abuse of a child by indecent exposure

(d) Sexual abuse of a child by indecent communication

(e) Sexual abuse of a child by indecent conduct

Summary of the Elements of Article 120b: Regardless of the actual offense, prosecutors are required to prove both the age of the child and the extent of the sexual abuse and whether that sexual abuse involved touching, exposure of one’s genitals, or penetration (and, if so, the type of penetration that was involved).

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

Fiercely contesting the allegations against you may very likely be your only recourse. Certainly, government prosecutors may claim you’ll be spared the worst of the charges by pleading guilty. But when the prison door slams shut and your friends and family have all but abandoned you, what does it matter that you avoided 5 years of a 30 year prison sentence?

Just how we contest your case will depend on both the offenses you’ve been charged with and the circumstances surrounding those charges:

  • Your relationship with the alleged victim: What was the nature of your relationship with the alleged victim? Was it a close relationship or had you just met? What were the circumstances under which the two of you met, and how did the allegations of the alleged crime surface? Understanding your relationship with the victim—if you had a relationship at all—will be critical to the formulation of a defense strategy and narrative.
  • Mistake of Fact as to Age: Did you have an honest and reasonable mistake as to the age of the alleged victim? Did you meet him or her at a club or at bar? On Tinder, Grinder, Plenty of Fish, sites that are for adults? By doing our own investigation into the facts and circumstances of the case, if we can show that you had a mistake of fact as to the age of the complainant, it is a full defense and could lead to a Not Guilty verdict.
  • Actions by law enforcement: Were you caught up in a sting operation? Was the sting operation legal? Were you entrapped? Did law enforcement make any mistakes or abuse any evidence in your case? Law enforcement and government prosecutors make mistakes all the time. If they’ve made any in your case, we’ll find them, and we will make the government pay for each and every one of them.

Bilecki & Tipon is offering you a fighting chance. If you believe that your liberties are worth fighting for, then contact us TODAY to set up a free consultation.

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 120b Charges

Bilecki & Tipon has a successful history of defending service members against criminal charges under Article 120b. If allies are scarce and a trusted advocate if the only thing standing between you and a life behind bars, contact us as soon as possible. We will do everything in our power to help.

Bilecki & Tipon will help you fight back against charges under Article 120b: Rape and Sexual Assault of a Child

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 120b: Rape and Sexual Assault of a Child?

The maximum punishment according to Article 120b varies according to the offense which was allegedly committed:

Rape of a child:

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for life without eligibility of parole
  • Mandatory Minimum Dishonorable Discharge

Sexual assault of a child:

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 30 years
  • Mandatory Minimum Dishonorable Discharge

Sexual abuse of a child:

  • Reduction to E-1
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 20 years (15 should the case not involve sexual contact)
  • Dishonorable discharge

What Is the Difference between Article 120 and Article 120b

Article 120b is similar to Article 120: Rape and Sexual Assault Generally, in that it shares many of the same criminal offenses and elements. In the case of Article 120b, however, the rape and sexual assault allegations were done to a child under the age of 16. Article 120 applies to adults.

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.
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  • Bilecki & Tipon, LLLC Mr. Bilecki and his associates are amazingly qualified and skilled in handling UCMJ cases.
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