In late summer 2014, my client and another were accused of conspiring with each other and committing sexual assaults on a single complaining witness. The events were alleged to have happened at a party at a local hotel. As the investigation progressed six others were implicated in an alleged group sexual assault.
My client and his alleged co-conspirator had charges preferred in January 2016 and in April they were arraigned at a general court-martial. We then experienced many delays because of funding issues until trial in February 2018. Over the months, the six others had their allegations resolved at summary court-martial, nonjudicial punishment, and administrative separation—all for offenses collateral to the alleged sexual assaults.
As our investigation and preparation progressed we were able to develop what we believed to be a motive to fabricate a false allegation of sexual assault, for what psychologists call secondary gain (to police and lawyers that’s called motive). The complaining witness was in trouble: she’d lied to command personnel about where she was going that day, and like the eight accused’s she violated various rules of alcohol and fraternization–she and others were about to undergo a surprise breathalyzer that night. Her answer was to claim sexual assault for what we believed to be consensual group sex.