Fort Johnson (Used to be Fort Polk)
U.S. Army v. E-3
Charges (Article 120 – Sexual Assault, Article 80 – Conspiracy).
Our client was charged with conspiracy to commit sexual assault and sexual assault. This case occurred during the major winter storm of 2021. Our client was invited to drink with several other Soldiers in the alleged victim’s barracks room. Over the course of the afternoon into the evening, the alleged victim told my client and his friend that she wanted to have sex with them. She flirted throughout client throughout the day. After a while she ended up kicking everyone out of her room except our client and his friend. One thing led to another, and consensual sex occurred. The alleged victim later claimed she was too drunk to consent. The problem with that is the other male in the room confirmed her ability to walk around and make decisions. In fact, he confirmed that she refused to give him oral sex but wanted to continue having sex with our client. Later on, after the sex occurred, the alleged victim was able to get an IV bag and hook her friend up to it with no issues. Ultimately the Panel was able to see this case for what it was and rendered the appropriate verdict.
This case was interesting because I picked it up after the case had been charged and went thru its first round of motions practice. My original co-counsel on the case was getting out of the Army. When we sat down to go over the case, he told me that we can’t use the government provided expert for our team. I said that simply need to replace them which confused him. The government provided forensic psychologist was an individual who was in residency. Apparently, her supervisor was also a part of the team. When I read her report on the case she described the alleged victim as in a manic state and could not consent under such conditions. Given my experience in such matters I quickly discounted her assessment and set about the task of finding a new expert to join our team. The alleged victim in this case claimed she was blacked out. We needed to find someone that could explain what individuals can do in a black out state. In this case I had worked with an individual who was in the Army and well versed in blackout. He was able to teach the jury how blackout works. Blackout isn’t the equivalent of pass out. Blackout is quite simply when there is so much alcohol on board that your memory shuts down, but you can still function as if you are encoding memory. It is as if court is in session, but the court reporter isn’t recording the Court. In this case the alleged victim claims to have no memory of wanting sex, or even participating in sex. That may be true. However, our client wouldn’t know her memory is off while she is outwardly desiring and engaging in sexual activities.
It is important for your attorney to accurately assess the battlefield before them. When it comes to complex litigation, an inexperienced counsel simply will not do. It is important for your counsel to have resources available to them to assess, analyze and direct your case to success.