Military Defense Attorney for UCMJ Article 120 Sexual Assault
Article 120 is the military statute which defines rape, aggravated sexual assault, aggravated sexual contact, and abusive sexual contact. These offenses include different types of unlawful, forced sexual activities on another person. Charges related to sexual misconduct involving a minor fall under Article 120b.
The Department of Defense can charge any active duty or reserve service member with an Article 120 offense. Article 120 makes no distinction between accusers who are members of the military and civilians. These charges are serious and require a strong defense. Service members convicted under Article 120 face strict punishment. Depending on the nature of the crime and the outcome of the court-martial, defendants found guilty can receive a sentence as harsh as life imprisonment without parole.
If found guilty of an Article 120 offense, the service member will receive a dishonorable discharge as required by law. Guilty defendants may be required to register as a convicted sex offender and remain on the national public registry for the remainder of their lives. The counsel of a reliable military lawyer can help to diminish punishment.
Sexual assault within the military is a topic which has gained public scrutiny over the last few years. With that scrutiny, the Department of Defense is under growing pressure for reform with harsher penalties against service members convicted under Article 120. This pressure is not isolated to any particular area of the military, and service members of any rank in any branch can face aggressive prosecution under Article 120.
Recently, the House of Representatives passed a measure to enforce a mandatory minimum sentence of two years imprisonment and dismissal or dishonorable discharge for service members convicted of rape or sexual assault under the UCMJ. In the event that the measure becomes part of a larger bill, accused service members will face tougher penalties at court-martial.
Article 120 rape and aggravated sexual assault
Article 120 rape applies to defendants accused of committing a sexual act which includes
- The exertion of unlawful force
- Exertion of force that has caused or would be likely to cause death or serious harm to another person
- Placing or threatening to place another person in fear of death, grave bodily harm, or kidnapping
- Rendering the other person unconscious
- Administering without the knowledge of the other person, or through force or threat, any substance that can substantially render the person incapable of assessing or controlling conduct
Article 120 sexual assault applies to defendants accused of committing a sexual act under circumstances which include
- Threatening another person or imposing fear
- Fraudulently representing the sexual act as a professional duty
- Misrepresentation of his or her own identity
- Without consent
- Having committed the sexual act on another person who is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware of the sexual act
- Causing the person any form of bodily harm
Article 120 sexual assault also applies in cases when the accused commits the sexual act upon another person who is unable to grant consent due to
- Impairment with any intoxicant
- Physical or mental disability of which the accused is aware or ought to reasonably be
Article 120 aggravated sexual contact and abusive sexual contact
Article 120 also defines aggravated sexual contact and abusive sexual contact. These crimes are serious charges which have a lower degree of severity than rape.
Aggravated sexual contact is an offense which applies to service members accused of causing sexual contact upon another person under circumstances which would otherwise meet the conditions of rape if the sexual contact had also been a sexual act.
Abusive sexual contact is an offense which applies to service members accused of causing sexual contact upon another person under circumstances which would otherwise meet the conditions of aggravated sexual assault if the sexual contact had also been a sexual act.
Penalties for Article 120 Charges
Under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), there are serious penalties for sexual misconduct. All service members convicted of rape or sexual assault will face a dishonorable discharge or a bad conduct discharge accompanying the forfeiture of all pay, allowances, and veteran benefits.
Service members who receive a dishonorable discharge will likely struggle to find employment and will forfeit their right to own firearms.
Service members convicted of Article 120 rape face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without eligibility for parole in addition to their aforementioned discharge and forfeiture of benefits.
Service members convicted of Article 120 aggravated sexual assault face a maximum sentence of 30 years imprisonment in addition to their aforementioned discharge and forfeiture of benefits.
Service members convicted of Article 120 aggravated sexual contact face a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment.
Service members convicted of Article 120 abusive sexual contact face a maximum sentence of 7 years imprisonment.
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 direction.
SEEK HELP FROM OUR ARTICLE 120 DEFENSE ATTORNEY TODAY
Joseph Jordan is a military criminal defense lawyer who vigorously represents service members in court-martial. Serious charges such as rape and other sexual misbehavior require excellent arguments with a compelling presentation of evidence in your defense. Joseph Jordan is a former Army Judge Advocate who has successfully defended service members in numerous court-martials against rape and sexual assault. A seasoned military lawyer of his caliber can provide exceptional legal counsel and challenge the prosecution’s claim.
Building your defense may initially seem overwhelming. The support of an experienced military lawyer can ease the burden of your case. The quality of your representation greatly affects the quality of your result. The unwavering support of an experienced military lawyer like Joseph Jordan can help you obtain an outcome in your favor. Operating out of Killeen, Texas, Jordan applies his experience and in-depth knowledge of this practice area to defend your rights.
Joseph Jordan understands that an Article 120 accusation is heavy, troublesome, and stressful for service members and their families. With his counsel, our firm can help ease the stress and anxiety which accompany these accusations. If you are facing charges under the UCMJ Article 120, Rape and Sexual Assault Generally, consider enlisting the services of Joseph Jordan to help beat your case.