Military Defense Attorney for Article 120 Rape
Dynamic Military Lawyer Protecting Your Rights in an Alleged Offense Under
Article 120 of the UCMJ 'Rape and Sexual Assault Generally'
Joseph Jordan is a military defense lawyer who aggressively represents
service members in courts-martial. He is a former Army Judge Advocate,
and has successfully defended service members in numerous courts-martial
against rape and sexual assault. Operating out of Killeen,
Texas, Jordan leverages his experience and in-depth knowledge of this practice
area to zealously protect your rights. The unwavering support of an experienced
military lawyer can be invaluable in helping obtain an outcome in your
favor. If you find yourself embroiled in an offense under Article 120
of the UCMJ – Rape and Sexual Assault Generally, read below for
what you should know.
Call (888) 616-6177 for a Consultation
What Constitutes Rape and Sexual Assault Generally?
Rape and sexual assault have been defined to include the different natures
of unlawful, forced activities upon another person. More specifically,
persons are said to have committed
rape if they have committed a sexual act upon another person by (a) the exertion
of unlawful force (b) exertion of force that has caused or would be likely
to cause the death of or serious harm to another person (c) placing or
threatening to place the person in fear of being kidnapped, subject to
death, or subject to grave bodily harm (d) rendering the person unconscious,
or (e) administering without the knowledge of the person, or through force
or threat, any substance that can substantially render the person incapable
of assessing or controlling conduct. When such act or acts are proven,
the guilty will be punished in accordance with the decision of a court-martial.
Persons accused of
sexual assault are those who:
(1) Have committed a sexual act upon another person by:
(a) the threatening the person or using the weapon of fear (b) causing
the person any form of bodily harm (c) fraudulently representing the sexual
act as necessary to serving a professional purpose (d) creating a false
belief that the accused is another person;
(2) Have committed a sexual act upon another person who is unconscious,
asleep or unaware of the occurrence of the act
(3) Have committed the sexual act upon another person in a situation where
the person is incapable of consenting to the act, as a result of (a) intoxication
or impairment by a drug or other substance (b) a physical or mental disability,
of which the accused has full or reasonable knowledge.
Aggravated sexual contact and
abusive sexual contact also fall under Article 120. The former is an offense by a person who
has committed sexual contact upon another person, and does not satisfy
the conditions of rape (subsection a). The latter is an offense by a person
who has committed sexual contact upon another person, and does not satisfy
the conditions of sexual assault (subsection b).
When a person being prosecuted under this section has been charged with
proof of threat, it is not necessary to prove that the person actually had the intention
to carry out the act or possessed the ability to commit the same. Also,
marriage cannot be cited as a defense under this section.
Potential Sentences for Offenses under Article 120
Rape and Sexual Assault Generally
This year, the House of Representatives passed a measure to enforce a mandatory
minimum sentence of two years imprisonment, and dismissal or dishonorable
discharge for servicemen convicted of sexual assault or rape under the
UCMJ. In the event that the measure becomes part of a larger bill, accused
servicemen will face a tougher court-martial.
In any case, strict punishment is reserved for offenses under Article 120.
For each section, depending on the nature of crime and the outcome of
the court-martial, a death sentence is the harshest punishment that can
be delivered, followed by lifelong incarceration, and imprisonment for
a certain number of years (depending on the ruling). The counsel of a
reliable military lawyer can be extremely helpful in softening the ruling
or even getting a clean chit, based on the nature and specifics of the case.
: The maximum penalty for rape is
death. Or the accused can be awarded with
life imprisonment. Other possible punishments are
dishonorable discharge and
bad conduct discharge. Individuals accused of rape also face the
forfeiture of their total pay and allowance.
The repercussion of dishonorable and bad conduct discharge: Basically, a military discharge releases you from your obligation to continue
serving the armed forces. Dishonorable discharge is awarded for acts the
military deems reprehensible. Individuals who have been dishonorably discharged
do not receive any, and often struggle to find employment in the civilian
sector. The US federal law also forfeits their right to own firearms.
Bad conduct discharge is awarded to enlisted military members as punishment
for misconduct. It is often always accompanied by jail time in military
prison. Individuals who have been discharged due to bad conduct must forfeit
all their veteran's benefits.
As you can see, rape is not let off lightly in the armed services, and
the guilty will have to bear strict punishment for his/her actions. So
far, under the UCMJ, only one serviceman has been executed for rape –
in 1961, Private John Arthur Bennett was hanged for raping and attempting
to kill a 11-year old girl in Austria. A death sentence was also awarded
to Earnest L. Ransom in 1957 – he had been convicted of the rape
and premeditated murder of a 14-year old Korean girl.
Note: A revision undertaken in 2007 for rape (subsection 'a' of Article
120) requires the accused party to prove that the accuser consented to
the sexual act. Previously, the requirement for prosecutors was to prove
that the sexual contact was forced on the accuser, without his/her consent.
Placing the burden of proof on the accused no doubt complicates matters.
Unfortunately, families of the accused also suffer a long ordeal culminating
with the final verdict, which must be respected and accepted. It doesn't
have to be all doom and gloom – your military lawyer can protect
your rights in a situation where all fingers are firmly pointed in your
Aggravated Sexual Assault: Individuals convicted of this offense face dishonorable discharge or bad
conduct discharge, and confinement of 30 years. They also face the forfeiture
of their total pay and allowance
Aggravated Sexual Contact: Individuals convicted of this offense face dishonorable discharge or bad
conduct discharge, and confinement of 20 years. They also face the forfeiture
of their total pay and allowance.
Abusive Sexual Contact: Individuals convicted of this offense face dishonorable discharge or bad
conduct discharge, and confinement of 15 years. They also face the forfeiture
of their total pay and allowance.
Sensitive matters of rape and sexual misbehavior must be handled with solid
arguments, a compelling presentation of evidence and a water-tight defense.
A seasoned military lawyer of Jordan's caliber can provide exceptional
legal counsel and challenge the validity of the prosecution's claim.
Fighting your case initially may seem an uphill task, but at the end of
the day, the best represented side wins. This is why it is advisable to
enlist the services of an experienced defense attorney, who – regardless
of how the odds are stacked – can be a game-changer and deliver
the results you want.