A reason to make false statements in a MSA case

As for SPC KP [a witness to the alleged MSA], our doubts about her testimony are many. First, several witnesses shared their low opinion of SPC KP’s character for truthfulness, as well as SPC KP’s low reputation within the unit on this important trait. Second, SPC KP had a motive to fabricate, as the trauma she claimed to have suffered from witnessing this event were key factors in getting an exception to policy in order to obtain a service animal and achieve her longstanding wish to move out of the barracks. Third, her testimony was impeached in several instances by other witnesses. For example, SPC KP claimed that the morning after the incident, she told PFC HM everything she had witnessed in the bedroom. That is, what she related in her trial testimony was what she reported to PFC HM the morning after the party. By contrast, PFC HM was clear in her testimony that both SPC KP and PFC LC reported the next morning only that appellant was on top of PFC HM. Nothing more. In fact, when the incident was reported a few months later, PFC LC was surprised by the additional details related to SHARP personnel by SPC KP. In another example from the trial, SPC KP denied asking SPC MF about his Article 32 testimony, a denial later contradicted at trial by PFC MF. For these and other reasons, we find SPC KP’s testimony was not credible.

United States v. Sanders, ACCA 2018.

The “trauma” was from–

We find PFC LC’s testimony was credible. There is no dispute that she was the first person to enter the bedroom on both occasions, so she was best placed to observe appellant and PFC HM. Although PFC LC was intoxicated, her recollection of what she saw in the bed was clear. Since PFC LC was the person who pulled appellant out of the bed, she too was in the best position to observe whether appellant was engaged in intercourse with PFC HM and whether appellant was penetrating PFC HM’s vagina. What PFC LC observed was appellant, with his pants down, asleep or passed out, on top of PFC HM, with her pants down, asleep or passed out. Nothing more.

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