Army Officer Cleared of Pornography Charges

Our client was a 20-year officer in the U.S. Army Reserve.  While working in his civilian capacity as a government contractor, he was charged with the possession of pornography on a government computer system.  He was summarily fired from his contractor job and his Army Reserve command initiated administrative discharge proceedings against him.  He hired JAG Defense to represent him at his Board of Inquiry.  At his Board, we were able to demonstrate that the alleged misconduct occurred only in his civilian position, not when he was serving as a member of the Army Reserve.  In addition, we showed that the “pornography” was really the sharing of Facebook “memes” with his wife, who was deployed at the time.  While some of these “memes” were fairly explicit, we argued that they did not rise to the level of “pornography.”  Result: The Board of Inquiry voted 3-0 that our client had NOT possessed pornography as a member of the Army Reserve and RETAINED him in the Army.

Category: Military Success Stories

Attempted Murder and Rape Charges Dismissed

A Navy Sailor was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault and rape following an altercation with his girlfriend.  The charges included allegations that he punched, strangled, and smothered his girlfriend before slamming her head into the floor until she lost consciousness.  The girlfriend then claimed that the Sailor raped her while she was unconscious.  During the incident, the girlfriend managed to call a friend’s voicemail, which captured the audio of the Sailor yelling and making threats, as well as the sound of a physical altercation.  There was also significant DNA and other forensic evidence collected by NCIS, as well as witnesses who heard the physical altercation. After being charged by the Navy and while awaiting a court-martial, the Sailor was involved in a second altercation with a different girlfriend, which led to additional charges of aggravated assault.  The Sailor was facing the possibility of life imprisonment and a sex offender registration.  Prior to JAG Defense involvement, the most favorable pretrial offer from the prosecution was that the Sailor had to plead guilty to all charges in order to receive a confinement cap of 12  years.  The Sailor’s family hired JAG Defense to represent him at his court-martial.  Over a period of months, JAG Defense negotiated an initial pretrial deal where the government agreed to dismiss the attempted murder charge and all but one assault charge for each victim.  The government intended to attempt to prove the rape charge.  During the course of our preparation to contest the rape charge, JAG Defense uncovered DNA evidence that was extremely damaging to the government’s case and definitively proved that the victim had lied about the sexual assault.  As a result, the government dismissed the rape charge the night before the Sailor’s court-martial was to begin.  Result: Attempted Murder and Rape Charges Dismissed. Client guilty only of lesser assault charges and will be released from confinement in less than a year.  No sex offender registration.

Category: Military Success Stories

Marine Avoids Lengthy Confinement Time and Sex Offender Registration

A Lance Corporal in the U.S. Marine Corps was initially charged with eight (8) specifications of child pornography possession, distribution,  and viewing.  Later, the USMC charged him with five (5) specifications of Sexual Abuse of a Child and one (1) specification of Attempted Sexual Abuse of a Child.  All together, the charges against our client carried the possibility of almost 200 years of confinement.  At the Article 32 hearing, our cross-examination of the NCIS agent demonstrated the weakness of the government’s case on the child pornography charges.  Using that as leverage, we negotiated a plea agreement with the government where our client accepted responsibility for Abusive Sexual Contact with a minor (for sending sexually explicit texts and emails).  In exchange, the government agreed to Withdraw and Dismiss With Prejudice all remaining charges against our client.  He was sentenced to “time served” and released from confinement that day.  While he did receive a punitive discharge, he will not have register as a sex offender in his home state.

Category: Military Success Stories

Navy Lieutenant Cleared of Misconduct, Retained at Board of Inquiry

Our client, a Navy O-3, went TAD to Ghana.  Following the trip, one of his disgruntled Sailors started circulating rumors that our client engaged in repeated sexual activities with Ghanaian foreign nationals, despite the fact that he was married.  These rumors swirled around the command for months before an anonymous tip was made to NCIS only days before our client was set to PCS.  After a rushed and laughingly inept “investigation,” our client was offered nonjudicial punishment, which he refused.  The command referred his case to Navy BUPERS, who ordered our client to show cause for retention at a Board of Inquiry for alleged violations of Article 92, 133, and 134, UCMJ.  At the Board, we presented overwhelming evidence of our client’s exceptional Naval career and integrity, as well as evidence that the accusing Sailor had a reputation for exaggerating and spreading rumors.  Result: After only 10 minutes of deliberations, the Board voted 3-0 that our client committed NO MISCONDUCT and to RETAIN him in the Navy.

Category: Military Success Stories

Rape Charges Against Air Force E-4 Withdrawn and Dismissed

Our client was charged with raping/sexually assaulting his wife.  Immediately following the alleged incident, our client’s wife went to the hospital where medical personnel treated her for an injury in her vaginal area.  In addition, our client allegedly made statements admitting that he raped his wife to his best friend and to a marital counselor.  JAG Defense was retained after the Article 32 hearing and after charges had been referred to trial by General Court-Martial.  Our investigation identified numerous inconsistent statements by our client’s ex-wife, as well as multiple motives to fabricate her allegations, to include adulterous relationships and her identity theft/credit card fraud using our client’s identity.  Armed with this information, we were able to negotiate an alternate disposition on behalf of our client, which included the government’s agreement to WITHDRAW and DISMISS all charges against our client – No Conviction, No Sex Offender Registration, No Confinement, and No Punitive Discharge.  Further, we were able to negotiate a General (Under Honorable Conditions) characterization for our client, which guarantees his continued eligibility for Veterans’ Benefits.

Category: Military Success Stories

Sexual Assault Charges Withdrawn and Dismissed Against Coast Guard Petty Officer

Coast Guard E-5 was charged with sexually assaulting a female co-worker.  After excessive drinking at an off-base party, our client was videotaped and photographed with the alleged victim in the bathroom, helping her to stand and holding her hair back while she vomited.  There were also pictures of the alleged victim passed out with her head on the toilet.  After numerous people assisted in carrying the alleged victim to a guest bedroom, our client returned to the party.  Approximately 20 minutes later, our client was found in the alleged victim’s bed with her.  Neither of them were wearing pants.  The next morning, the alleged victim had no recollection of our client being discovered in her bedroom.  Our client was charged with sexual assault and attempted rape due to the alleged victim’s intoxication level.  Despite the significant evidence against our client, JAG Defense was successful in negotiating a pretrial agreement wherein the sexual assault charges against our client were WITHDRAWN and DISMISSED.  Result: No punitive discharge and no sex offender registration.

Category: Military Success Stories

Naval Officer Involved in Camel Accident CoverUp – Retained

A group of officers and enlisted members went on liberty in Djbouti, Africa.  While on liberty, they purchased and consumed alcohol (with the exception of the driver).  On the way back to their base, they struck a camel, severely damaging their GOV.  In the ensuing investigation, a number of the members made false, conflicting statements about their consumption of alcohol.  Our client admitted to his own drinking, but on two separate occasions, denied knowledge of anyone else’s purchase or consumption of alcohol, which was not true.  Our client was taken to Admiral’s Mast, where he was found guilty of false official statement, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and failure to obey a lawful regulation.  Following his Mast, our client completed his deployment in Djbouti, returned to the U.S., and then was notified that he would be required to show cause for retention in the U.S. Navy.  At his Board of Inquiry, our client took responsibility for making false statements on 2 occasions, as well as not properly executing the required liberty paperwork (which was the basis of the orders violation).  We presented compelling evidence of his otherwise positive Naval career, coupled with his exceptional performance on deployment, both before and after the incident.  Result: The Board voted 3-0 to RETAIN our client in the U.S. Navy.

Category: Military Success Stories

Coast Guard O-4 Retained After 2nd Alcohol Incident

Following an extremely successful command tour, a disgruntled subordinate initiated an EEO investigation against our client.  While the EEO claims were ultimately determined to be unsubstantiated, the investigation uncovered evidence that our client became excessively intoxicated during a junior officer’s “wetting down,” groped/fondled females at the bar, and led to his removal from the bar, urinating on the sidewalk, and failure to pay his taxi fare.  Our client was further charged with coercing his Chiefs Mess and Executive Officer into not reporting his behavior to the chain of command.  In addition, our client had a previous DUI 11 years earlier.  As a result, he received a 2nd “Alcohol Incident,” which requires mandatory discharge processing in the Coast Guard.  At his subsequent Board of Inquiry, we demonstrated that the allegations that our client coerced his Chiefs Mess and XO were entirely inaccurate, as were the allegations of groping and fondling females.  We further mitigated many of the additional allegations against him, and presented compelling evidence of his otherwise exceptional career.  Result: Despite 2 Alcohol Incidents, our client was retained in the U.S. Coast Guard and will retire honorably.

Category: Military Success Stories

Commanding Officer Navy IG Investigation – Client Promoted to O-6

Senior Officer (O-5) Commanding Officer was named subject in three complaints filed by a disgruntled former subordinate Department Head/Junior Officer concerning administrative orders request, IG Complaint and Article 1150 US Navy Regulations complaint of wrong, all related to alleged administrative misconduct by the Commanding Officer. Working very closely with assigned military defense counsel, we were ultimately able to achieve a favorable resolution of the issues/concerns and, despite an initial delay, the client was both promoted to O-6 and continued in career-enhancing assignments with no permanent adverse official military personnel file entries.

Category: Military Success Stories

No Punishment for Violations of Espionage Act

Navy Chief received and retained hundreds of documents related to Explosive Ordnance Disposal.  Many of these documents contained classified information.  During an NCIS search of his home, agents recovered disks and hard drives that contained classified information.  Our client was charged with various violations of the Espionage Act, and was facing 28 years of confinement, a punitive discharge, and reduction to E-1.  Through lengthy pretrial negotiations with his chain of command, we negotiated an extremely favorable pretrial agreement for our client, which included the WITHDRAWAL and DISMISSAL of charges, and significant sentence limitations.  At his court-martial, the military judge’s sentence consisted of a fine and restriction, both of which were disapproved by the Convening Authority pursuant to the pretrial agreement.  As a result, our client received NO PUNISHMENT at his court-martial.

Category: Military Success Stories