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How to Fight False Military Sexual Assault Allegations

— February 4, 2022

The best piece of advice anyone can give you is to consult military sexual assault lawyers. These lawyers have specialized in the niche area of military law. 

A Poison in the System’: the epidemic of military sexual assault. That was the title of a report on military sexual assault by the New York Times. The statistics around such incidences are, quite honestly, shocking. 

One out of every four US servicewomen will report a sexual assault. Reported from a survivor’s perspective, it is a harrowing, horrifying tale. The shame, depression, and self-loathing are saddening realities for the victims. 

But, other victims have to live with sexual assault scars. These are the defendants in the cases. They may not have been on the receiving end of the inhuman acts. So, they don’t bear the physical scars. 

Their lives come to a screeching halt because of false sexual allegations. And the repercussions can be as bad as what the real victims have to go through. 

Shame, depression, stress, uncertainty, emotional and mental depression may be impossible to overcome. And, there is the added dejection of having to live with the label of sexual offender. 

But, there is a way to regain some semblance of the past life before the accusations. We explore how to fight false military sexual assault allegations. 

The Reality of False Military Sexual Allegations 

False sexual allegations do happen in the military. A report on the Marine Corps Association MCA) website shares some interesting statistics. On average, 7% of allegations are not true. 

In the year 2020, the Department of Defense (DOD) investigated 7,816 cases. Out of this, as many as 782 defendants were innocent. But, many doubt the veracity of these rather conservative estimates. 

By its very nature, the military does not open itself up to public scrutiny. The numbers could be much higher than what the reports show. 

So, what should you do if you find yourself having to fight to prove your innocence? 

  1. Seek Legal Advice from Military Sexual Assault Lawyers 

The first and most important step is to seek the services of military sexual assault lawyers. It is a niche area of specialization and with good reason.

Few lawyers would like to go up against a powerful body like the government. They have to go up against military prosecution teams, who will do everything they can to win the case.

Do note, not any sexual assault lawyer can take on a military case. Military defense lawyers must know the working of the military, culture, and rules. Your best, and in some instances, only defense will be to seek the services of such specialist attorneys. 

  1. Learn Everything You Can About What is Coming Up

Prepare yourself for tough times ahead. Any military sexual assault lawyer who tells you otherwise is coloring the truth. There are some things you will need to know. 

Familiarize yourself with Article 120 UCMJ. It breaks down rape, sexual assault, and conditions that may constitute guilt. The onus is on the military prosecution team to prove the case against you. They must show that you forced, threatened, or even drugged the alleged victim. 

Mistake of fact as to consent can be a strong defense tactic. Criminal liability only applies if you knew you were committing a crime. The prosecution must prove that there was no mistaken belief of consent. 

What does this mean? Sometimes, the alleged victim’s actions may indicate they like you. In some cases, they could be open to a level of intimacy. That means some type of sexual contact of some nature may happen. 

Refer to Article 120 UCMJ for what the military considers sexual assault or rape. Sometime later, for whatever reason, they decide to cry rape. The prosecution must prove that what happened was not a mistake of fact. 

  1. Mum’s the Word

Once you have court-martial lawyers on board, keep your mouth closed. From that point onwards they become your mouthpiece. That means no media interviews, social media posts about your innocence, or conversations with the defense team’s investigators.

Article 31, under the Fifth Amendment, protects military defendants against self-incrimination. Neither can anyone compel you through coercion, unlawful inducement/influence to incriminate yourself.

What happens in case you break down and give a statement? That evidence will not be legally acceptable in an administrative separation board or court martial. But, as an individual, you may not know all this. 

That is why your first line of defense is to hire military sexual assault lawyers. After that, you must refer everyone and anyone who wants information to the legal counsel. 

  1. Get Ready for a Lot of Scrutiny

    Man sitting on sofa resting his head in his hand; image by Nik Shuliahin, via
    Image by Nik Shuliahin, via

Sexual assault investigations can be brutal. Remember, the prosecution’s job is to prove guilt. They will look into the deepest recesses of your life. Family, friends, colleagues, and indeed anyone who knows you will be a source of information. 

Now, here is where it gets truly invasive. Before they prefer charges against you, the investigations will have been ongoing for some time. They need sufficient evidence to build a case against you. They will, of course, try to talk to you. 

But remember and live by the rule in the point above. Some investigators can get real sneaky. Secret recordings, false representations, or moves that many would consider entrapment are not beneath them. And, the law may actually protect them. 

Now, here is another thing you may not know. During the investigation, the prosecutors can add on more charges depending on the outcome. At some point, it will feel like bullets are hitting you from all directions. It can get pretty intense, so you will need to prepare mentally. 

Do advise your legal counsel if you start to feel overwhelmed. Many have partnerships with therapists or counselors who can help you navigate through the tough times. 

Final Thoughts

Facing and having to fight false sexual assault while in the military can be a life-changing experience. This is not to say that it is any better for civilians. 

The best piece of advice anyone can give you is to consult military sexual assault lawyers. These lawyers have specialized in the niche area of military law. 

You cannot get the type of advice and defense from attorneys who specialize in civilian cases. Once the right team takes over, you can start to have some peace of mind. 

Let the experts do their job of proving your innocence. And, remember to lean on family and friends for emotional support. You can also seek professional counseling services to help you navigate. 

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