AVVO
NACDL
Federal Bar Association
Virginia State Bar
Department of the Army
VACDL

Sexual Assault Myths

Not too long ago, Mark Godsey, Director, Ohio Chapter, The Innocence Project, commented that:

[T]the risk of wrongful conviction is the highest when there’s public outcry. Most of the exonerations and wrongful convictions have occurred in rape cases.

Whether on a college campus or a military installation, myths for and against a sexual assault epidemic have fueled efforts to get convictions. These efforts have resulted in significant statutory and regulatory changes which largely reduce or limit an accused's right to a fair trial and the opportunity to present a defense. I have some thoughts on this here.

Recently, the Congress passed the NDAA with substantial changes to the UCMJ set to take effect up through 2018. The changes were submitted by DoD and came from the Military Justice Review Group recommendations. Congress held NO hearings or discussion of any worth on these substantive changes. Why debate something that's going to be enacted regardless of any outside consideration. I would note that some of the changes are in fact favorable to an accused. For example, the size of the members panel (jury) will increase, as will the number of votes required to convict.

In the meantime, I would recommend the following as Worth-the-Read.

K. C. Johnson and Stuart Taylor, Jr., The Campus Rape Frenzy: The Attack on Due Process in America's Universities, Encounter Books, 2017. There are similarities in military sexual assault developments.

FIRE notes, "The book describes case after case of investigators failing to consider exculpatory evidence, accused students being prohibited from questioning their accusers and witnesses, and unfair proceedings being conducted with no reliable record for students’ lawyers to work with when they try to help students find justice in the courts."

Try reading the book and see how many times you can substitute "service-member" for "student."

For more W-T-R for the military, colleague Zeke Kennon notes several articles of interest over at CAAFLog.

Greg Rustico, Overcoming Overcorrection: Towards Holistic Military Sexual Assault Reform, 102 Va. L. Rev. 2027 (2016).

Heidi L. Brady, Justice is No Longer Blind: How the Effort to Eradicate Sexual Assault in the Military Unbalanced the Military Justice System, 2016 U. Ill. L. Rev. Online 193.

Facing an investigation, trial, or court-martial appeal? Contact us your military defense counsel with long and wide experience and success in military sexual assault cases.

Under investigation, facing court-martial, been convicted, contact experienced a military defense lawyer familiar with and success in defending military sexual assault allegations -- mljucmj@court-martial.com.

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