Article 120c: Other Sexual Misconduct

Criminal offenses of sexual misconduct that do not fit neatly into acts of sexual assault or rape often fall under Article 120c of the UCMJ. Should a service member be accused of voyeurism, taping and distributing pornography, indecent exposure or forcible pandering, he or she will be subject to Article 120c of the UCMJ.

Any one of these criminal offenses could incur a heavy toll upon the service member. Prison time, forced expulsion from the military, and the loss of all military benefits are common punishments under Article 120c.

  • Some of these criminal acts could put you behind bars for a decade or longer.
  • Even if you escape a prison sentence, you may be dishonorably discharged from the military. You will never recover your pension and healthcare benefits.
  • If you are convicted, you will be placed on a federal sex offender list, for at least 10, possibly for life. This information is publicly available and could destroy job prospects and future relationships.

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 & Tipon today.

What Is Article 120c 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. Article 120c defines six criminal offenses, each with its own unique set of elements.

(1) Indecent viewing

(a) That the accused knowingly and wrongfully viewed the private area of another person

(b) That said viewing was without the other person’s consent; and

(c) That said viewing took place under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

(2) Indecent recording

(a) That the accused knowingly recorded the private area of another person;

(b) That said recording was without the other person’s consent; and

(c) That said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

(3) Broadcasting of an indecent recording

(a) That the accused knowingly broadcast a certain recording of another person’s private area

(b) That said recording was made or broadcast without the other person’s consent;

(c) That the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the recording was made or broadcast without the other person’s consent;

(d) That said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy; and

(e) That the accused knew or reasonably should have known said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy

(4) Distribution of an indecent visual recording

(a) That the accused knowingly distributed a certain recording of another person’s private area;

(b) That said recording was made or distributed without the other person’s consent;

(c) That the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the recording was made or distributed without the other person’s consent;

(d) That said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy; and

(e) That the accused knew or reasonably should have known said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy

(5) Forcible pandering

(a) That the accused compelled another person to engage in an act of prostitution with any person.

(6) Indecent exposure

(a) That the accused exposed his or her genitalia, anus, buttocks, or female areola or nipple;

(b) That the exposure was in an indecent manner; and

(c) That the exposure was intentional

Summary of the Elements of Article 120c: Most criminal offenses under Article 120c are related to voyeurism and the non-consensual recording, broadcasting or distribution of pornographic material. In every case, prosecutors are required to prove that the victim had a reasonable expectation of privacy and that the actions taken by the accused did not have the consent of the victim.

Forcible pandering requires prosecutors to prove that the accused forced the victim to engage in an act of prostitution, while indecent exposure requires prosecutors to prove that the accused showed a private area intentionally and in an indecent manner.

Court Martial Lawyer for Article 120c of the UCMJ: Strategies and Tactics

Article 120c defines six sex crimes which do not fit neatly into rape or sexual assault charges. While many of the same strategies and tactics apply to each, there are some major differences as well which must be taken into account before preparing your case.

We’ll first perform a full review of both the circumstances surrounding your case and the nature of the alleged crimes before deciding on a court martial strategy. Some of the questions we’ll consider include:

  • Indecent viewing and recording: Is there any indication that the camera or video recording device was hidden from view? Is the accused also in the video and, if so, is there reason to suspect that the recording was agreed upon prior? Did the victim discover you in the act of viewing him or her or was it simply assumed to be you?
  • Broadcasting or distribution: Does the alleged victim have a history of making videos? Have other videos of the victim been uploaded or sent out prior to the release of the video in question? Does the government have forensic evidence that it found on your computer or phone? If so, do other people use that digital media besides you?
  • Indecent exposure: Did you believe yourself to be in a relatively private setting? Did you truly intend to expose yourself, or did your clothing slip off at an inappropriate moment? Did others see you exposed and did it seem like you desired to have that area of your body exposed for people to see?

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

Experienced Military Defense Lawyers for Article 120c Charges

We’ve been defending the interests of U.S. service members against Article 120c sex offenses. Whether you’ve been charged with indecent exposure, voyeurism, or the recording, broadcasting or distribution of indecent and non-consensual pornography, we are prepared to help you fight back against your charges.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Maximum Possible Punishment for Article 120c: Other Sexual Misconduct?

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

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