Today, CAAF affirmed in United States v. Roberts, __ M.J. ___, No. 10-0030/AF (C.A.A.F. May 13, 2010). Judge Erdmann wrote for a unanimous court.
Roberts is a highly fact-specific opinion about the application of Military Rule of Evidence 412 and harmless error. CAAF ruled:
We granted review in this case to determine whether the military judge erred in excluding evidence of ER’s relationship with another man (FL), evidence that Roberts asserts would have established a motive for ER to fabricate the rape allegation against him.
We agree with the Court of Criminal Appeals that under the circumstances presented in this case, the proffered evidence of ER’s alleged sexual relationship with FL was not admissible under M.R.E. 412. We also agree with the lower court that the military judge erred in limiting the cross-examination of ER concerning the general relationship between ER and FL and specifically by not allowing any cross-examination of ER as to her cell phone call to FL immediately after the incident.However, we find those errors tob e harmless beyond a reasonable doubt and affirm the lower court.
Id., slip op. at 3-4 (citations omitted).
With the release of Roberts, just 10 cases argued this term remain undecided.