Military Lawyer Defending Servicemen under Article 120c Other Sexual Misconduct
The UCMJ's definition of sexual misconduct is broad and comprehensive. While the offenses under 'other sexual misconduct' do not attract as harsh a punishment as rape or sexual assault, they can still hold serious repercussions for convicted servicemen. An experienced military lawyer with a successful history of defending service members in numerous courts-martial against sexual conduct, can help ensure an outcome in your favor. Joseph Jordan is a respected military defense lawyer who strongly advocates for your rights. He is a former Army Judge Advocate operating out of Killeen, Texas.
Offenses under Article 120c Other Sexual Misconduct
Previously, this category included four types of offenses: indecent act, forcible pandering, wrongful sexual contact and indecent exposure. New changes to the statute – for offenses committed on or after June 28, 2012 – have revised the type of offenses under this category.
Indecent viewing, visual recording or broadcasting: An individual is liable to be punished under this offense, if he/she committed the following acts without lawful authorization or legal justification:
- Intentionally and wrongfully viewed the intimate areas of another person without the person's consent, and in a situation where the person's expectation of privacy was reasonable. Here, reasonable expectation of privacy refers to circumstances in which the person believes he/she could undress in privacy, without worrying about the capture of his/her private area; and circumstances in which the person believes his/her private area would not be in full public view.
- Photographed, filmed or recorded another person's private area without the person's consent, and in a situation where the person's expectation of privacy was reasonable. Here, 'private area' refers to the nude or underwear/lingerie-clad buttocks, genitalia, anus, or female nipple/areola.
- Broadcasted or distributed the recordings as mentioned in (1) and (2).
Forcible pandering: An individual is liable to be punished upon the direction of the court-martial if he/she forces another person to engage in an act of prostitution. Here, 'prostitution' refers to sexual contact or a sexual act that is caused/delivered in exchange for anything of value.
Indecent exposure: An individual can be charged with indecent exposure if he/she exposes his/her anus, genitalia, buttocks, female nipple or areola, in an indecent way, at any place where the conduct may be said to occur in the view of people other that the individual's family. To be deemed 'indecent exposure', the act must also be intentional. Here, 'indecent way' makes reference to an explicitly obscene or vulgar manner of performing the act.
Punishment for Offenses under Article 120c Other Sexual Misconduct
Each of the four offenses discussed above are punishable by punitive discharge, confinement and forfeitures. In the event of a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge, convicted servicemen stand to lose all veteran benefits. Typically, finding employment in the civilian sector is also difficult for individuals who have received anything apart from an honorable discharge or a general discharge under honorable conditions.
- Servicemen convicted of forcible pandering receive a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge, confinement of upto 5 years and a loss of total pay and allowances.
- Indecent exposure attracts one year in military prison, forfeiture of full pay, and a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge.
As you can see, the nature of sexual misconduct notwithstanding, convicted servicemen are penalized on all three fronts – imprisonment, loss of pay and undesirable discharge from service. It is best to engage the services of a seasoned military lawyer with prior experience handling cases under Article 120. He will be familiar with the intricate workings of the United States military justice system and assess verdicts and specifics of cases similar to yours, to present the big picture before you and communicate the reasonable expectations from your case, in advance.