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Recent Courts-Martial Results

The cases listed here are real examples of our work. Below are real cases we have defended recently. They are examples only. Every case is different because of the facts and the admissible evidence. We are prohibited from guaranteeing a specific result in a case because that is unethical according to the Rules of Professional Responsibility that all lawyers operate under.

2023

May 24, 2023, U.S. v. O-3, United States Coast Guard, Washington, District of Columbia. A Coast Guard Lieutenant is accused of multiple orders violations for statements made on internal communications.  General court-martial charges are preferred and the officer retains Cave & Freeburg, LLP.  Mr. Freeburg investigates the case and negotiates with the Coast Guard prosecutors.  As a result of the negotiations, the Coast Guard agrees to a resignation with a general under honorable conditions characterization instead of a court-martial.

Result: No Federal Conviction, No Confinement, No Dishonorable Discharge.

April 20, 2023, U.S. v. E-9, United States Army, Fort Bliss, Texas. An Army Sergeant Major was accused of a lewd act on a child for allegedly placing his penis on the face of an eleven-year-old girl while she was sleeping—he was found not guilty through the efforts of Mr. Freeburg as lead counsel in the case. A thorough pre-Article 32 investigation found witnesses Army CID had never talked to. It was obvious that the allegation was false. But, the prosecution proceeded to trial because the prosecutors did not fully evaluate and understand the DNA evidence. So much knowledge and experience with forensic evidence and witnesses is one of the pluses we bring to a case. Unfortunately, this case is also an example of how the system can be biased against the accused. The prosecution had two expert witnesses of its own at trial. The defense, however, was denied expert assistance. Just as wrongly, the judge agreed with the government. Thankfully, in the most unfair military trial Mr. Freeburg has had, he used cross-examination and strong testimony from the Sergeant Major client himself to rebut the government’s case in front of a senior military panel. This case is an example of the few times it may be necessary for a client to testify. When that happens, we ensure the client is well prepared to testify and answer cross-examination.

April 2023, Mr. Cave convinced a convening authority not to court-martial an officer for a long term AWOL. Instead administrative action was taken. This case is an example of when early intervention may lead to alternate dispositions rather than court-martial.

March 30, 2023, U.S. v. E-5, United States Army, Fort Bragg, North Carolina . Police in North Carolina and Florida investigated this Army Sergeant for raping and molesting his now teenage daughter at multiple locations. The Army took jurisdiction from the civilian prosecutors to have one trial. The prosecution charged him with three rapes of a child, six counts of sexually abusing a child, one specification of rape, one specification of sexual assault, two specifications of assault and battery, and one specification of domestic violence. He was therefore facing life in prison! Cave & Freeburg represented the sergeant at court-martial. At trial, Mr. Freeburg’s cross-examination showed the accusers and their friends had a history of lying and making false allegations. Here is another example of the occasional need for a client to testify. The client was well prepared to testify honestly, directly, and stand up to cross-examination from an Army O-5 Special Victim Prosecutor. The enlisted panel of members found him not guilty of everything except one count of simple assault and battery. The judge sentenced him to a reduction in rank from E-5 to E-4 and no other punishment.

March 15, 2023, U.S. v. E-6, United States Air Force, Hill Air Force Base, Uta h. In a trial that made national and international news, a TSgt EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) expert is accused of setting off two improvised bombs in Syria at MSS Green Village, injuring three other service members and himself (the Air Force claimed that his injuries were self-inflicted). The TSgt was placed in pretrial confinement but was able to retain both Mr. Cave and Mr. Freeburg to represent him. The Air Force is so focused on getting a conviction that they place perhaps the two most experienced prosecutors in the Air Force on a special trial team of four prosecutors and numerous experts. Mr. Cave writes and files multiple motions to shape the trial while Mr. Freeburg prepares to open and close arguments and cross-examine the prosecution’s witnesses. Finally, at trial in front of an Air Force panel, two excellent Air Force defense counsel, Mr. Freeburg and Mr. Cave, can show that the prosecution’s case is purely circumstantial, and there is an alibi defense they had missed! The result? The members of the officer/enlised panel found the client not guilty after just six hours of deliberations.

February 3, 2023, U.S. v. E-6, Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia . A Marine staff sergeant’s ex-girlfriend accused him of pointing a gun at her and using indecent language to an Uber driver. At the Article 32 hearing, with a strong defense, Mr. Freeburg has the pointing the firearm charge dismissed because there was no probable cause! However, the Marines refer the charges to a Special Court-Martial on the assault and indecent language charges. The prosecutors elect not to call the ex-girlfriend as a witness “because they believe they can prove the case through other witnesses.” However, Mr. Freeburg’s cross-examination shows the prosecution’s evidence is incredibly weak. Now they decide to call the ex-girlfriend as a surprise witness. Mr. Freeburg objects to her as a witness. The judge decided that a mistrial (even though the defense was “winning”) was the only remedy because of the prosecution’s errors. Undaunted, the Marine Corps sends the case to a new trial. Here the defense objects and asks for a dismissal of the charges based on the Constitution’s prohibition against Double Jeopardy. The judge denies the motion. Rather than wait and go through a second trial, Mr. Cave files an extraordinary writ to appeal the judge’s decision with the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals. After deliberating for several months, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals grants our appeal. The result is that the Marine cannot be prosecuted! (Note, in a different case with the same issue the Marine military defense counsel did not file a writ but went through the trial. Their client was convicted. His case was reversed on appeal but by then he has served months in confinement.) The staff sergeant’s case shows how knowledge of filing Writs of mandamus or prohibition can be used to protect a client’s interest. Our case demonstrates how Mr. Cave’s trial and appellate experience aligns with Mr. Freeburg’s trial skills.

January 18, 2023, U.S. v. E-5, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. An Air Force Staff Sergeant was accused by his estranged wife, in the midst of a custody dispute, of sexually assaulting her. Consequently, court-martial charges are preferred against the client and referred to a general court-martial. Mr. Freeburg investigates the case further and presents the government with discovery demand after discovery demand for various employment records showing the alleged victim’s long history of lying and mentally disturbed behavior. Eventually, only five days before trial, the Air Force realizes how dishonest the alleged victim is and dismisses all court-martial charges!

January 9, 2023, U.S. v. E-4, United States Army, Fort Meade, Maryland . The Soldier’s estranged wife accused him of sexual assault and domestic violence. They were in the middle of a child custody dispute. Court-martial charges are preferred, and the Soldier retains Cave & Freeburg, LLP. Mr. Freeburg investigates and litigates the case, including filing several motions to shape the trial. Shortly before trial, Mr. Freeburg conducted a digital forensic extraction, finding evidence showing the alleged victim’s history of lies and violence. As a result, the Army agrees to a separation instead of a court-martial!

2022

December 17, 2022, U.S. v. E-4, United States Air Force, Grand Forks Air Force Base, North Dakota. Senior Airman is accused of groping another Airman on two occasions in the same night while she was sleeping on the couch after a party. Although she could not identify her assailant, the Air Force preferred charges against the client based upon “evidence” provided by another potential suspect! Cave & Freeburg, LLP was retained and Mr. Freeburg thoroughly prepared for trial. At a judge-alone trial, Mr. Freeburg delivered a strong case that another man groped the Airman,resulting in a verdict of “Not Guilty” to all charges and specifications!

December 15, 2022, U.S. v. E-5, United States Army, Fort Meade, Maryland. Soldier is accused of the sexual assault of another Soldier he had a short-term relationship with. Court-martial charges are preferred and the Soldier retains Cave & Freeburg, LLP. Mr. Freeburg investigates and litigates the case including filing several motions to shape the trial. As the evidence and witnesses develop, Mr. Freeburg keeps fighting and eventually the Army agrees to a separation instead of a court-martial!

November 30, 2022, U.S. v. O-5, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. An Army Lieutenant Colonel is accused by an Army Major of sexually assaulting her at his home while they were on a date. After a long investigation, the client’s retirement is put on hold and court-martial charges are preferred against him. At the Article 32 preliminary hearing, Mr. Freeburg strongly argues that the case should not be prosecuted and that there is no probable cause because the sexual intercourse was clearly consensual and the Major had a strong motive to fabricate her allegations. The hearing officer agrees and recommends dismissing the case. Finally, the Army dismisses the court-martial charges!

Result: Charges Dismissed. No Federal Conviction, No Sex Offender Registration, No Dishonorable Discharge, Retirement Preserved.

November 7, 2022, U.S. v. E-4, United States Army, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Soldier is accused of the sexual abuse of a child and of sexually assaulting her mother and is facing many years in prison. Court-martial charges are preferred and the Soldier retains Cave & Freeburg, LLP. Mr. Freeburg extensively litigates the case including filing several motions to shape the trial. As the evidence and witnesses develop, Mr. Freeburg keeps fighting and shortly before trial begins the Army agrees to a separation instead of a court-martial!

November 3, 2022, U.S. v. E-5, United States Army, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. A Soldier was charged with the rape of another Soldier along with battery and extramarital relations. He retained Cave & Freeburg, LLP. After the defense discovered that the alleged victim had lied about various details of the relationship and Mr. Freeburg and Mr. Cave following with lengthy litigation and motions, the government agreed to a guilty plea for only misdemeanor battery and the extramarital relationship!

October 10, 2022, U.S. v. O-3, United States Air Force, Pentagon. Air Force officer is accused of various financial crimes and held past his term of service for a court-martial. Mr. Cave and Mr. Freeburg investigate the case and prepare defenses. Eventually, the Air Force drops the case and the officer leaves service without even going to trial!

September 21, 2022, U.S. v. E-4, United States Air Force, Edwards Air Force Base, California. Senior Airman is accused of sexually assaulting both vaginally and anally another Airman along with recording the sex. Then her best friend also accused the Senior Airman of sexually assaulting her on a different occasion! The first set of charges involved a night of casual, consensual sex in Korea. Mr. Nathan Freeburg was retained after the preferral of charges and conducted an in-depth investigation into the allegations. As the case made its way to trial the charges were dropped of vaginal penetration for both the first and second alleged victim, leaving charges of forced anal penetration and recoding the sex for trial. At trial, Mr. Freeburg destroyed the government’s witnesses (including multiple experts) in front of an Air Force panel resulting in a verdict of “Not Guilty” to all charges and specifications!

August 19, 2022, U.S. v. E-8, United States Army, Fort Knox, Kentucky. A senior Army recruiter is accused of ingesting methamphetamine and lying about it. The Army prefers court-martial charges against the Master Sergeant putting his entire retirement at risk. Mr. Freeburg investigates the case, prepares a defense and then brings the Army to the negotiating table where they agree to a summary court-martial (which is not legally a conviction) and protection of the Soldier’s retirement.

Result: No Federal Conviction, No Confinement, No Discharge, Retirement Preserved.

August 10, 2022, U.S. v. O-3, United States Navy, Navy Yard, District of Columbia. Navy officer is accused of soliciting sex from an underage male (who was actually an adult “vigilante”). After a long investigation, the Navy preferred court- martial charges against the officer. Mr. Freeburg and Mr. Cave investigate the case and prepare an unlawful entrapment defense. Following, the Navy agrees to a separation instead of a court-martial.

July 15, 2022, U.S. v. E-4, Fort Drum, New York. An Army Specialist is accused by another soldier of sexually assaulting her in her barracks room. After a long investigation, court-martial charges are preferred against the client. At the Article 32 preliminary hearing, Mr. Freeburg strongly argues that the case should not be prosecuted. The hearing officer agrees and recommends dismissing the case. Instead, charges are referred to a general court-martial. After referral of charges, Mr. Freeburg investigates the case further and presents the government with discovery demands and expert requests while simultaneously explaining why the case should be dismissed. Eventually, the Army agrees and dismisses all court-martial charges!

June 22, 2022, U.S. v. E-6, United States Army, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. An E-6 was accused of assaulting his teenage son on multiple occasions and then threatening to kill his command team. After charges were referred to a General Court- Martial (felony-level) with the government seeking serious prison time, Mr. Cave and Mr. Freeburg were retained to defend the Soldier. After performing extensive discovery and litigating several motions, Mr. Cave and Mr. Freeburg were able to bring the government to a reasonable deal, resulting in the case being sent to a Special Court- Martial (misdemeanor-level) with no confinement being served!

March 3, 2022, U.S. v. E-6, United States Army, Fort Knox, Kentucky. An Army Staff Sergeant who was serving as the NCOIC for a LTG’s Personal Security Detail was charged five specifications of sexual assault, one charge of aggravated assault with a loaded firearm and many charges for alcohol use, steroids, false official statements, fraternization and sexual harassment, all based upon allegations made by his team. Vigorously litigating the case from start to finish, Mr. Freeburg was able to have the steroid charges dropped before trial and then at trial, cross-examined the multiple accusers in front of a the panel and then gave a closing argument that tied all of the reasonable doubts together. As a result, the panel acquitted the Soldier of all charges of sexual assault and aggravated assault, and most of the other specifications, resulting in a sentence to a reduction and forfeitures!

February 14, 2022, U.S. v. E-3, United States Air Force, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Airman is accused of sexually assaulting two different Air Force enlisted women and is placed into pretrial confinement. After being retained to defend the Airman, Mr. Freeburg is able to show through numerous witness interviews that there were serious issues with one accuser’s story and that the other accuser had only made her allegation after she was caught committing adultery with a different Airman. After extensive litigation, the Air Force agrees to a Chapter 4 discharge instead of court- martial.

January 19, 2022, U.S. v. O-5, United States Army, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Lieutenant Colonel is accused of multiple specifications of sexual assault by a disgruntled officer with an axe to grind. After a year long investigation, Mr. Freeburg presents Army C.I.D. with exculpatory evidence proving that the allegations are a bold- faced lie. As a result, no probable cause is found and the investigation is ended, saving the officer’s career!

2021 Case Results

December 30, 2021, U.S. v. E-2, United States Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A young Marine was charged with the sexual assault of two alleged male victims after sexual encounters involving alcohol. He was placed in pretrial confinement after the second incident and then retained Cave & Freeburg, LLP. After lengthy preparation and case investigation, the government agreed to a guilty plea for only misdemeanor battery and with a sentence of time served!

November 30, 2021, U.S. v. E-3, United States Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A young Marine was charged with male on male rape, penetrative sexual assault, multiple specifications of abusive sexual contact involving a total of eight alleged male victims and several other charges such as indecent language, for a potential maximum sentence of life plus three hundred years in prison. He was placed in pretrial confinement and then retained Mr. Freeburg. After lengthy preparation and case investigation into the many lies told by the alleged victims and after seating a panel on the first day of trial, the government agreed to a guilty plea for only misdemeanor battery and providing alcohol to minors with a sentence of time served!

November 16, 2021, U.S. v. E-2, United States Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. A young Marine was charged with penetrative sexual assault, multiple specifications of abusive sexual contact involving four alleged victims and several other charges. He was placed in pretrial confinement and then retained Mr. Freeburg. Through a lengthy motions practice and an exhaustive case investigation along with the detailed Marine defense counsel, Mr. Freeburg was able to bring the government to the table to agree to a guilty plea for only misdemeanor battery and with a sentence of time served!

May 26, 2021, U.S. v. O-4, United States Navy, Navy Yard, Washington, D.C. Navy officer with a sterling career record at some of the United States’ most decorated and deployed classified units and task forces is accused of two specifications of assault, including use of a firearm. Mr. Nathan Freeburg works with the officer through the investigation process to prepare and after charges are preferred works with experienced Navy defense lawyers to counter the government at every turn. Finally, at trial, Mr. Freeburg and the defense team use cross-examination and indirect tactics in front of a very senior Navy officer panel and the client is acquitted!

May 19, 2021, U.S. v. E-4, United States Army, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. An Army Specialist was charged with rape and four specifications of penetrative sexual assault, one charge of misdemeanor strangulation and one charge for violating an order not to drink alcohol. At trial, Mr. Freeburg was able to show through cross-examination of the CID agent that the Soldier was manipulated into making a false confession. Mr. Freeburg was also able to successfully cross-examine the government’s expert in forensic psychology who testified as to “tonic immobility”, instead showing that the alleged victim likely froze due to past trauma. Consequently, an enlisted panel acquitted the Soldier of all charges of rape and sexual assault!

April 29, 2021, U.S. v. E-7, United States Army, Kaiserslautern, Germany. An E-7 with nearly 25 years of service was accused of strangling his wife on four different occasions (aggravated assault), burning her with a frying pan and twice making a serious threat. Mr. Freeburg investigated the case and determined that the allegations were made in the context of a custody dispute and developed a gameplan to cross- examine the alleged victim on her motivations at trial. Despite the prosecution introducing supposed photos of injuries and testimony from an expert in strangulation, the Soldier was acquitted of all charges of aggravated assault and making threats and only convicted of one lesser included offense of misdemeanor battery (which was witnessed by a third party). Result: Full Acquittal on All Serious Charges, No Confinement, Retirement Preserved.

March 30, 2021, U.S. v. E-7, United States Navy, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. An E-7 stationed overseas in 2018 was accused of three specifications of having sex with a prostitute overseas and three specifications of anal rape. In March 2019 he was found guilty of the prostitution charges only and the alleged rapes were dismissed. On appeal, he retained Mr. Philip Cave to represent him. In February 2019, the civilian police in Virginia had been investigating allegations against the same E-7 of oral and vaginal rape of a local woman, as well as attempted anal rape, assault with intent to rape, and robbery. The civilian authorities decided not to prosecute so the now E-1 client was prosecuted at a general court-martial and elected to be represented by Mr. Cave. In this new trial, he was found not guilty of all charges and specifications by a panel of officer and enlisted members. The appeal of his first conviction is still underway. Result: Full Acquittal on All Charges.

March 26, 2021, U.S. v. E-4, United States Air Force, Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. Airman is accused of having sexual intercourse with a thirteen-year old girl and videoing a portion of the encounter as production of child pornography. Mr. Freeburg is retained to defend the Airman and develops a robust defense based upon the fact that the alleged victim had claimed to be nineteen and had numerous ongoing mental health issues and false allegations. After extensive litigation and several continuances, the Air Force agrees to a Chapter 4 discharge instead of court-martial.

March 19, 2021, U.S. v. O-2, United States Navy, Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia. Navy officer is raided by the FBI and accused after a joint investigation with the state police and NCIS of the possession and distribution of hundreds of images of child pornography. Mr. Nathan Freeburg works with the officer through the investigation process to prepare and when charges are preferred fights the government with an aggressive motions practice. At trial, the prosecution shows the panel of senior Navy officers a highly explicit video of child pornography in an attempt to inflame their passions and convict the client based on emotion. Mr. Freeburg flips the government’s strategy and computer forensic experts against them and wraps all the evidence together in a closing argument with the result that the panel only deliberates for two hours before acquitting the LTjg of all charges!

2020 Case Results

September 23, 2020, U.S. v. E-6, United States Army, Fort Rucker, Alabama. Staff Sergeant is accused of multiple specifications of sexual assault and fraternization by a junior Soldier with an ax to grind. Mr. Freeburg prepares a full-scale attack on the government’s case for the Article 32 hearing. As a result, the Preliminary Hearing Officer (PHO) recommends not proceeding with a general court-martial. Finally, the government agrees and withdraws and dismisses the charges.

August 25, 2020, U.S. v. E-6, United States Army, Fort Lee, Virginia. Staff Sergeant is accused of attempted sexual assault, indecent exposure and soliciting the unauthorized access of a government computer system. Charges are referred to a Special Court-Martial even though the allegations were absurd. The government pushed the Soldier to submit a Chapter 10 (Other Than Honorable Discharge) in lieu of

trial, threatening to make him a registered sex offender if he went to trial. Mr. Freeburg is retained and prepares a game plan for an acquittal, attacking every part of the government’s case. Five days before trial, the government withdraws and dismisses the charges.

August 2020, U.S. v. O-5, Fort Belvoir. The client was accused of male-on-male sexual assault by two Soldiers. Advocacy by Mr. Cave post-Article 32, UCMJ, hearing, resulted in all charges being dismissed, and the client returned to full duty.

July 30, 2020, U.S. v. LCpl, U.S. Marine Corps. After a Lance Corporal was convicted at a court-martial for two specifications of sexual assault and sentenced to four years in prison and a dishonorable discharge he retained Mr. Freeburg to file an appeal in the Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeals. Mr. Freeburg argued on appeal that the evidence was factually insufficient for a conviction and that the government had committed prosecutorial misconduct and the military judge had erred in denying a defense witness.

June 12, 2020, U.S. v. E-4, United States Air Force, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. Air Force Senior Airman (E-4) is accused of receipt and possession of child pornography, solicitation of child pornography and attempted receipt of child pornography for having intimate pictures of his sixteen year-old girlfriend. Mr. Freeburg investigates the allegations, develops a defense case, fights the Article 32 hearing, consults with the client and drafts a memorandum to the command explaining why the Air Force should grant a Chapter 4 Separation in Lieu of Trial. The command agrees.

March 4, 2020, U.S. v. O-3, Norfolk, VA. The client was accused of rape of a female co-worker, a situation where he was the real victim. We reported this to the MCIO, met with the MCIO, and provided some corroboration of the allegation that he was the victim. As a result of a (strangely) thorough investigation with the client’s cooperation he was cleared and returned to full duty. This is an example of when it is helpful to hire civilian counsel early. Mr. Cave’s work here forestalled even the preferral of charges which otherwise were likely to come.

March 17, 2020, U.S. v. E-5, United States Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia. Sergeant is accused of illicit drug use under Article 112a, UCMJ, and charges are referred to a Special Court-Martial even though the accused Marine was adamant that the urinalysis had resulted in a false positive and was awaiting a medical discharge. Mr. Nathan Freeburg is retained and prepares a game plan for an acquittal, attacking every part of the government’s case. After rejecting an absurd government proposal for a deal, Mr. Freeburg conducted an aggressive motions practice, setting the stage for trial. After the motions hearing, the command drops the case allowing the medical discharge to go through.

February 25, 2020, U.S. v. E-6, United States Army, Fort Shafter, Hawai i. Army Staff Sergeant is accused of the sexual assault of his ex-wife and of indecent recording and broadcast, all allegations leading to sex-offender registration. Mr. Nathan Freeburg investigates the alleged victim, attacks the government’s case in motions and prepares for a robust counter-attack at trial. A week before trial, the prosecution offers a Chapter 10 discharge in lieu of trial, meaning no conviction, no registration, which the Accused accepts.

January 15, 2020, U.S. v. E-5, United States Marine Corps, Parris Island, South Carolina . Sergeant is accused of violating 12 specifications of Article 132, UCMJ (making a false claim), 10 specifications of Article 124, UCMJ (also making a false claim), 10 specifications of Article 107, UCMJ (false official statement), and 10 specifications of Article 121, UCMJ (larceny), for a total of 42 specifications! Mr. Nathan Freeburg was retained early in the process and developed an extensive game plan for an acquittal. After rejecting an absurd government proposal for a deal, Mr. Freeburg conducted an aggressive motions practice, setting the stage for trial. At trial, Mr. Freeburg developed the client’s defense through the prosecution’s own witnesses. Despite the five-page charge sheet the panel took just over an hour to deliver a Not Guilty verdict!

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Many years after retiring from the USN, I suddenly found myself in a very unwelcome legal matter with the Navy. It was a total shock and I was very concerned as to the impact this would have on me and my family. Philip was so helpful, truly a calming force, and his legal help was invaluable to me, I am so thankful that I availed myself of his services! Rob
★★★★★
Phil Cave has helped me through NJP and restoration of my security clearance. He even came to visit me in Spain. I never thought I would work again and he certainly through with advise and guidance that we're exactly spot on. He is my hero and thanks to him I gave my life back... Bryan
★★★★★
Mr. Cave saved my military retirement! His promise to me from day one was that he would fight as hard as he could he right the wring that had been done to me. And he did! I am so very thankful and grateful to him. He genuinely cared about me and made my case his priority. He used all his experience and knowledge to put forth a good defense. I am very pleased with him and will recommend him to anyone in need of an attorney. Crystal