SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES IN THE MILITARY
At Bilecki Law Group, We believe every service member has earned their right to an aggressive defense on their day in court. We specialize in taking the fight to the prosecution and winning cases that others said were unwinnable.
Off The Record: Episode 6
Tim: You’re hooked up with someone at the bar, now four people are accusing you of Sexual Assault, find out how this can even happen, on the next episode of Off The Record.
I want to talk about a trend we’ve been seeing in the Sexual Assault prosecutions in the Military, and that’s Service Members being charged with, not just one victim cases, but oftentimes two and three victims where you see a charge here, how does that happen?
Are we really in a situation now where we see Marines, and soldiers and sailors running around violently Sexually Assaulting people, are they where this serial Sexual Assaults, is that the reality of where we’re at in the Military today?
Or is there really another reason behind why we’re seeing two and three victim cases in the Military?
Are Military Members Sexual Predators?
Noel: No, that’s not the reality, that’s not where we live, that’s not what our Service Members are all about. There’s not 2, 3, 4 victims. What happens is, that in all these cases that we’ve seen NCIS, OSI, CID what they’re doing is they’re getting a cell phone, they’re getting the media from a Service Member, and you’ve seen it. Every case that we have, they’ve taken their cellphone, they send it out to DCFL for examination and they’re going back and looking at every swipe that you ever had on Tinder, every other Social Media contact, every ex-girlfriend that you ever had, and they’re asking them, “Hey would you like to make a statement? Did you know that you are dating a rapist? Did you know that you went out with a rapist the other night?” and they’re getting extra victims.
Tim: Let’s talk about how this happens in reality. You have a Service Member that goes to the bar, meets another girl there, they’re both drinking, and they go hook up often times, her husband finds out or her boyfriend finds out, an allegation of Sexual Assault is made. And the issue is I was too drunk to consent. That’s how these cases start out.
One alleged victim, and one night of drinking, inc ome OSI, CID or NCIS, they ask the client, can we see your cell phone, and they’ll say, “Well let’s go and take a look at your cellphone,” and they never tell them what they’re going to do with it, and they often dupe them into giving their cellphone. They then plug the cell phone into a machine to do what’s called a Forensic Extraction of it. From there they can get your contacts, they can go through your Tinder, they can go through a Whisper, they can go through all of the Social Media applications, and they find people that you’ve dated, that you’ve hooked up within the past, and they will actually reach out to them, and say, “Oh we noticed that you had prior relationship or went out with Lance Corporal Smith. Did you know that Lance Corporal Smith is under investigation for Sexual Assault? And he appears that he’s done this to a lot of different people?” And then they’ll say, “Well, were you drinking that night when you hooked up? Because when if you were drinking that night, you really can’t consent, that’s the State of the Law. And if he did this to her and he did this to you, he’s going to do this to others. And the only way to stop him is to make a statement.”
Now the girlfriend or the girl you hooked up on with on Tinder three weeks ago, now claims to be victim, and they go to another person, and another, and another. And so what will happen is, you get a case where it starts out innocently, where you hooked up with someone at a bar, you fully consented, he was drinking, and now six months a year or a year and a half later, you get a charge sheet with three victims.
Noel: And you know that this happens in every case, Tim. I mean, how many times have they not taken a cellphone to your case?
Noel: They always take the cellphone.
Tim: Unless the client says, I’m not going to give you my phone. But then they get an authorization try to get it anyways, and often have someone pour through the phone and they’ll talk to X, Y. They’ll talk to your mother, they’ll talk to your current wife, and they will go and spread lies about you to try to get them to make additional allegations. Because the reason is, that if you’re facing not just one Sexual Assault, but allegedly two or three, your likely hood of wanting to plea, is going to be a lot higher.
So here’s the way this ends up playing out. You get charged, you’ve got three victims, you don’t want to see your Free Military Lawyer. They look and say, “Dear God you’ve got all these charges.”
The Prosecutor comes over and says, “Hey, if you plead guilty to specification 1, we’ll drop specification 2 and 3. Or If your guy wants to take the risk an risk life in imprisonment, because we’re going to ask for a very high sentence if he’s convicted.
We’ll take it all the way, but we’ll drop 2 and 3, so you plead to number 1.” Knowing darn well, that number 2 and 3 are garbage cases, and what happens is the Free Military Lawyer or a non-experienced Military Lawyer comes to you, “We’ve got to plead this, how do we fight this?”
The Military Justice System Is Setup To Help False Victims
Noel: Even the first alleged victim, is oftentimes a BS Victim. Because that’s why they needed to go into your phone to get 2, 3, 4 other people to try and make some sort of statement.
Tim: The case is really solid. If you have an alleged victim who was actually Sexually Assaulted, and that does happen. Where they’re actually Sexually Assaulted, NCIS or CID wouldn’t find the need to go find 2 or 3 or 4 others hookups that you had who were intoxicated to try to buttress their case.
What it ends up being is, a House of Cards. So if you have a case where there’s 2 and 3 victims, the first thing that tells me as a Lawyer, and we’ve talked about this countless times, is these allegations, the main one is probably absolute garbage and won’t stand on its own, which is why CID or NCIS went through all this effort to try to find these additional charges. It’s almost invariably the first thing we hear from the Prosecutor, is just as I said earlier.
Plead to number 1, we’ll drop number 2 and 3. My typical response is, let’s try all three, we’ll win, because you know as well as I do, that these are garbage charges. But the reality is, if you get convicted of this you’re going to prison for a long time over something that really never occurred for a Sexual Assault that never happened.
Noel: But because of the way that the system is set up, the Jury now hears about victim 2 or 3 or 4, in conjunction with number 1 and they think to themselves, of course, what are they going to think, “Oh wow, this guy must be a serial rapist.”
Tim: Because they read the charge sheet. The first thing the Jury does though, is called the Flyer or the Clients Charge Sheet, and they’ll see, wow, he Sexually Assaulted 4 different people or 3 different people or even 2 different people, he must be guilty, this guy must be a scum bag. Just being in the courtroom in the Defendants chair facing these allegations, there’s a hurdle to overcome. But the reality is these cases can be won and they’re won often if they’re done correctly.
What Can You Do If You Have Been Accused of Sexual Assault?
If you’re in a situation where the Government has accused you or charged you of multiple Sexual Assaults with 1, 2 or 3 or more victims, you may be asking what you can do. I’ll tell you what you can do, stop looking at the damn Charge Sheet and do something. Don’t become the next victim. You have the power, empower yourself to find the best team that can represent you and fight for your freedom. And don’t just hand it away by wallowing in self-pity and doing nothing, because if you do nothing, you will become a victim. You’ve got the power, what are you going to do? You have the power to change, 3, 2, 1 change. Take action and don’t become the next victim.