U.S. Navy v. E-6 (Sexual Assault, Indecent Viewing) Article 120 and Article 120c
Naval Air Station Lemoore, California
Client was charged with sexual assault of a female sailor while in a port call in Perth, Australia. The accuser reported the allegation over 2 months after the port call. All she reported was that she was picked up off the down stairs couch, taken to Client’s room and sexually assaulted in the early morning hours of their 4th day in Perth. She stated that she allowed herself to be picked up off the couch because our Client “had always been so nice to her before.” Our client was interrogated a few days after the accuser’s report. He was naturally quite surprised at the allegation. He was also angry. He was not scared or in fear of his career. He was angry that someone would falsely accuse him of such a crime. He answered all the NCIS questions fired at him. He adamantly maintained his innocence and flatly stated the accusers allegations didn’t happen. Then he added something that NCIS did not know. On the evening of the third night (before the alleged sexual assault), he went up stairs of the house they were staying in and walked into the upstairs living room where he found the future accuser and another sailor having sex on the living room couch. She smiled at him. He took a picture. Then he went down stairs, realizing what he had done, and deleted the picture. Without another thought, he went out to the Casino that night, came back in the early morning and went to sleep. It is at this point that the accuser says she was sexually assaulted. NCIS then called the accuser in for a second interview 5 months after her initial report to confront her on this new information. She reported that Client did not only see her naked having sex with another Sailor, but that he stood over them whilst they were having sex, that he crawled on his belly while they were having sex, that he touched her while she was having sex, and finally that he took her hand and placed it on his penis and while she was having sex with the other Sailor. What is interesting about this is that she never reported this before. If this is indeed true, it’s a type of sexual assault. Lastly, all of this occurred prior to him allegedly picking her up off the couch. This is not something that would be considered a nice thing to do, as I pointed out to her during cross-examination. The Government only charged Client with sexual assault in his bedroom and with viewing her whilst she was having sex in the living room where “she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.” They did not charge him with forcing her to put her hand on his genitals while she was having sex with another sailor. We were able to successfully show that she lied about the sexual assault allegation, and that there is no reasonable expectation of privacy when you are having sex on a couch, in common area of a house that is inhabited by at least 9 other Sailors.