Navy Appellate Court Throws Out Wrongful Sexual Assault Convictions

The Navy Appellate Court in United States v. Pease, 74 M.J. 763 (July 15, 2015) vacated two sexual assault convictions based upon an insufficiency of evidence. This case demonstrates, as is well known amongst the defense bar, that opting for a military jury (“panel”) to decide your client’s case in a “multiple alleged victim case” can be exceedingly risky.  The evidence of alcohol impairment in this court-martial was weak and yet the Navy (enlisted) panel convicted and sentenced this Accused to serve six years in prison and a dishonorable discharge. This is yet another case of a complaining witness getting drunk and then deciding, after the fact, that they did not want sex. Professional kudos to Pease Court in correcting this miscarriage of justice.


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