In an open letter to the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Ms. Nancy Parrish, president of Protect our Defenders and Mr. Greg Jacob, policy director of Service Women’s Action Network, call for dramatic procedural changes in how the military disposes of sexual assault allegations.

Although the letter was addressed to the Secretary, the proposals would require substantial statutory changes, and would functionally remove commanders from their role as convening authority in sexual assault cases.  Instead of having commanders determine the proper disposition of cases, Ms. Parrish and Mr. Jacob urge that “impartial experts” be given the task:

The great deference afforded to command discretion, sets up a dynamic fraught with conflict of interest and potential for abuse of power.

Some are now arguing that base commanders are yielding to political pressure and are automatically referring cases to the UCMJ. Although we have not seen credible data to support this assertion, this claim validates what we are advocating: that the authority to adjudicate cases of sexual assault and rape be given to impartial experts to determine the path of these cases and care of the victims.

In order to solve this problem, we believe that DoD must take the prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the normal chain of command and place the jurisdiction in the hands of an impartial office staffed by experts – both military and civilian.

The entire letter can be found here.

34 Responses to “Advocacy groups tell Secretary of Defense that changes “do not go far enough””

  1. who's your daddy says:

    Give it to seasoned prosecutors who will dump half of these B.S. cases without ever wasting time with an Article 32.  that is what happens in the civ world where they never take this crap to trial

  2. TC/DC says:

    This sounds like the Family Advocacy Program “experts” we have in the Navy… as if 5 social workers could be an impartial panel.

  3. a concerned reader says:

    Agree with the above, the fact people are being acquitted at trial, doesn’t necessarily mean prosecutors need more tools . . . it can also mean it never happened.  Bring in the civilians – on both sides of the bar – they would laugh at how one-sided the system is (2/3 of panel for findings etc.) and at the cases that are brought to trial.  On which posts are these rapists running rampant??? 

  4. Peanut Gallery says:

    This implies that convening authorities are neither impartial nor expert.  I’m not sure I agree with that generalization.

  5. stewie says:

    Let’s just change the legal standard to guilty til proven innocent for sexual assault cases. That would solve all of this.

  6. Anonymous Air Force Senior Defense Counsel with the Initials NM says:

    Peanut Gallery — But convening authorities are subject to political pressures.  I’m not sure I would agree that they are more subject than civilian district attorneys.  But they are subject. 

  7. stewie says:

    Certainly true, they are, although I don’t exactly see a lot of political pressure (or other pressure) against convening authorities going forward with sexual assault cases to court-martial. Make it easy, every claim of sexual assault goes to trial. Every single one. And then when we see the level of acquittals then we will see what the next trick will be to insure convictions. Maybe a no cross examination of victims rule?

  8. Rob M says:

    It sounds like they’re hoping for a federally-funded jobs program to staff these panels of “experts” with people who have the “correct” views about how all these cases should be handled. 

    It’s difficult to argue that sexual assault in the military is a command issue and a leadership issue (which it is) and then deprive commanders and leaders of the tools they need to address the issue.  Taking it out of commanders’ hands sends the message that commanders should not care about it- and they should ( of course, the good ones will care about it even without being told to/expected to). 

  9. who's your daddy says:

    Has anyone done research to see how many date rapes (real and falsely alleged) occur at college campuses around the country?  And what percent get referred to local DA?  And what percent of those go to trial?  And what percent of those result in convictions?

    I have seen a date rape result in a conviction in the military.  Two actually.  One was the just product of a victims testimony that was remarkably compelling (impossible to describe in words).  The other appeared to be an innocent man convicted by a lying whore. 

    I’m afraid the saber rattling from the feminists will result in more of the latter.

    One irony is that those pushing this agenda come mostly from a liberal ideology.  Fascinating twist to see them advocating for powerful law enforcement model that risks convicting truly innocent servicemembers.

    Not sure if that is anti-male or anti-military bias that is overwhelming their philosophy.

  10. Zachary Spilman says:

    The letter is here: link

    Some are now arguing that base commanders are yielding to political pressure and are
    automatically referring cases to the UCMJ.

    This, if legitimately true, is a damning indictment. Moreover, it’s a call for fewer prosecutions, not more.

    Although we have not seen credible data to support this assertion, this claim validates what we are advocating: that the authority to adjudicate cases of sexual assault and rape be given to impartial experts to determine the path of these cases and care of the victims.

    In order to solve this problem, we believe that DOD must take the prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the hands of the normal chain of command and place the jurisdiction in the hands of an impartial office staffed by experts – both military and civilian.

    Criminal prosecutions in our United States take a lot of forms, but none are inherently bureaucratic or academic. I can’t imagine that “Protect out Defenders” or the “Service Women’s Action Network” seeks to create a radically new institution to deal with a relatively-small subset of misconduct among military personnel.

    This is a frontal assault on the Code. “[A]n impartial office staffed by experts” means the United States Attorney.

  11. stewie says:

    The problem is that it is accepted as fact that we have a rampant rape problem in the military. It’s accepted as fact that military spouses are abused much more than civilian spouses. I don’t believe there is any credible data to support either proposition, but they are both accepted as fact.
    The idea that maybe, just maybe, we have a bigger problem in our colleges and universities and among young people in cities and towns than we do in the military is just pure craziness. So we will see draconian proposals that folks would never, ever consider implementing in the civil sector.

  12. who's your daddy says:

    Let the alleged victim choose whether they’d rather have U.S. Attorney prosecute or the U.S. Military.  CAs would in many cases appreciate not having to deal with this hot potatoe.

    Then, the cases can go to US Attorney office, where the vast majority of these he said/she said cases would die without ever sniffing the inside of a courtroom.

    ONE ENORMOUS MISTAKE was the Navy JAG’s knee-jerk leadership of hiring GS civilian “experts” to prosecute Art 120 crimes in the DoN.  This only enables and perpetuates this gross lie.  CNO and USMC Commandant should have fired the Navy JAG. 

  13. Just Sayin' says:

    The civilians don’t prosecute, last I checked…they just advise.
     
    and poorly at that.

  14. joe says:

    The next logical step would be to simply refer all sexual assault cases to civilian prosecutors.  And then to refer all cases to civilian prosecutors.  And then…

  15. Dew_Process says:

    “Service DIS-connection”  I like it!  So they are admitting that the “separate and distinct” military justice system is indeed a second-class “justice” system and by and large, if it’s a sex-offense allegation under the UCMJ, they are correct.  In the civilian sector, a Grand Jury would “No Bill” these cases in about 30 seconds.  But, pity the career of an Art. 32 I.O. who would dare to say, “the complainant’s story is simply not credible – dismiss the charges.”

    The same goes for Military Judges who can’t see through the charade.  I have an appeal on a “date rape” case where the accused was convicted of “forcible rape,” yet the MJ who did an in camera review of the complainant’s mental health records, did not find her statement to her shrink the day after the incident [she’d been in psycho-therapy for 4 months prior to the incident], that she “was drunk and didn’t really remember what happened” to be Brady material.

    There are 6 major colleges/universities within a 20 mile radius of my office.  Students are routinely suspended or expelled for “date rape” allegations that the police won’t even investigate, and if they do, the DA kills in the Grand Jury.  The difference is that most student misconduct regulations read similar to Art. 120 – they don’t have to prove that the complainant did not consent, that’s an affirmative defense that the Accused bears, whereas our criminal statute still makes “without consent” an element of the crime, unless the Accused deliberately incapacitated or took advantage of an obviously incapacitated person.

    Lord Hale’s observation on the subject becomes more relevant as time goes on.

  16. Zachary Spilman says:

    There are 6 major colleges/universities within a 20 mile radius of my office.  Students are routinely suspended or expelled for “date rape” allegations that the police won’t even investigate, and if they do, the DA kills in the Grand Jury.  The difference is that most student misconduct regulations read similar to Art. 120 – they don’t have to prove that the complainant did not consent, that’s an affirmative defense that the Accused bears, whereas our criminal statute still makes “without consent” an element of the crime, unless the Accused deliberately incapacitated or took advantage of an obviously incapacitated person.

    There’s an enormous difference between uniformed personnel and college students, and we should be held to a higher standard for sexual assault.

    Commanders are right to take action when faced with a sexual assault allegation after one of their personnel has sex with a stranger he or she met in a bar. More gentlemanly conduct is expected.

    In the civilian sector, a Grand Jury would “No Bill” these cases in about 30 seconds.

    Looking around the DoD these days, I can see how you might get confused. However, we are not dealing with the “civilian sector.”

  17. Some Army Guy says:

    Some are now arguing that base commanders are yielding to political pressure and are
    automatically referring cases to the UCMJ.

    This, if legitimately true, is a damning indictment. Moreover, it’s a call for fewerprosecutions, not more.

     I don’t know if this is “political pressure,” but when I advise commanders on how to proceed on sexual assault cases, I definitely go into something of a CYA mode.  When advising on the commander’s and Army’s best interest, I take into account the potential for Congressionals, IG complaints, negative media, etc., if a commander does not go forward.  And often it’s hard to tell a commander that it’s his or the Army’s best interest not to prefer charges based on the command’s opinion of the soldier, a bunch of written statements, and a victim interview.

  18. Some Army Guy says:

    “Service DIS-connection” I like it! So they are admitting that the “separate and distinct” military justice system is indeed a second-class “justice” system and by and large, if it’s a sex-offense allegation under the UCMJ, they are correct. In the civilian sector, a Grand Jury would “No Bill” these cases in about 30 seconds. But, pity the career of an Art. 32 I.O. who would dare to say, “the complainant’s story is simply not credible – dismiss the charges.” 

     I have seen plenty of Art 32 IOs who make that exact recommendation, and usually the commanders (at the advice of their legal advisors) do dismiss those charges.

  19. stewie says:

    “There’s an enormous difference between uniformed personnel and college students, and we should be held to a higher standard for sexual assault.”
    A. Why should there be a different standard for uniformed personnel?
    B. What are exactly the differences between 18-24 year old college kids and 18-24 year old junior enlisted? I’ll give you older servicemembers.
    The standard is what is a sexual assault, and what do you need to prove it. I see no reason why that changes because of your profession. More gentlemanly conduct? That might work for Article 133 but that only applies to officers. There is no gentlemanly requirement for enlisted.
    No, we are not dealing with the civilian sector, but your argument seems to be that we shouldn’t even bother looking at them in comparison as a compass check. I don’t get that argument at all.

  20. Charlie Gittins says:

    OK.  I am a dinosaur — I say that right up front.  But the fact of the matter is that I have represented over 100 clients accused of rape or one of the lessers of rape.  To date, of the 25 or so that have actually gone to trial (you know what that means for the rest –they went away before charges were referred), only 2 have been convicted and of those, and one (who I believe with every fiber in my body is innocent) will be heard at CAAF on 11 Jan.  I need to write a book about this BS because I am the dinosaur who has still never represented a military member that I believe committed a rape or sexual assault.  I have represented many men who had the bad judgment to have sex with women who lacked character to admit it when they got drunk and made a bad choice.  And the COmmanders have no choice these days but to refer BS cases to trial and let a jury decide.       

  21. Dew_Process says:

    Stewie, thanks for articulating my point. 

    What’s the difference between a 19 year old college co-ed drinking [not drunk] illegally at a frat party and ending up in bed with some guy versus a 19 year old female E-3, illegally drinking and doing the same thing? 

    If as Captain Spilman suggests, those in the military must be held to a higher standard, then why isn’t the female E-3, disciplined for her illegal drinking and ultimately demonstrable false official statement about being sexually assaulted?  If the core value of military ‘justice’ is discipline, then disciplining those who illegally violate orders / regulations on underage drinking and making false complaints is called for, not giving them a free pass.  How many of those cases do you see, much less read about in the CCA opinions?

    The point is not that bona fide sexual assault claims shouldn’t be diligently investigated and if warranted, prosecuted, but whether or not a naked claim of sexual assault presumptively warrants prosecution?  If a SANE / SART evaluation comes up with no evidence, does that “impartial evidence” mean that the case is closed?

    Try to find accurate information about college “date rape” statistics:  Here’s one end:
    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/263834/are-one-five-college-women-sexually-assaulted-heather-mac-donald 

    Here’s the other end:
    http://www.ncvc.org/ncvc/main.aspx?dbName=DocumentViewer&DocumentID=32306 

  22. Phil Cave says:

    I decline to believe I’m a dinosaur like Charlie.  But like him I’ve done that many cases over the years.  Unfortunately I’m at about 40% referral though.  Of the three clients convicted, one is no longer convicted because of his appeal.  Of the two convicted I’m of the view that one client was not guilty.  Of the other you could read United States v. Streete, at AFCCA, and decide for yourself.  So, to Charlie’s comment I think I’d change to, “with women who lacked character to admit it when they got drunk and made a bad choice, and didn’t have the guts to tell their husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, or fiancee, the truth, or were worried the significant other would find out through gossip.”  Or found a way to get back at that “evil” supervisor, or get out of their own troubles (Walton/fraternization and alcohol use) , or . . .
    I do agree with him (although he didn’t say that directly) that in this day and age the men are at their own fault for their bad judgement in having sex with a woman who has been drinking.  I know, they say it was the demon drink.  But sorry guys, a woman has no choice and no control if she’s drinking, you do have a choice and control – despite the paternalistic Victorian overtones (and that’s what the jury is told), not because that’s medically, physiologically, and psychologically true, but what society has decided the rules will be.  Men, women have no control over themselves once they’ve had a wee dram.  Laudanum has been replaced by hard liquor.  Because women can’t control themselves you men have to control yourselves.  Be the gentleman in the room.  If you see a buddy getting fresh with a gentle-lady pull him away, regardless of the sultry looks she’s giving him.  In 2012 no means no.  It’s some decades since no (with a flirty twitch of the eyebrow) could mean yes and was merely a tease.  These men obviously aren’t learning anything at the sexual assault “training.”  This is a deck-plate issue and no amount of tinkering with the law is going to change that.

    DP has an excellent point.  If the issue is about standards, and it partly is, then why do those who make false accusations — knowingly, deliberately, and (in Akins) admittedly — get a pass on their integrity or lack of it.  People say that’s because disciplining the false accuser will cause the legitimate victim not to come forward.  How can disciplining a Soldier for a false complaint his wife was raped prevent legitimate victims coming forward?  And, doesn’t that argument prove the opposite?  No-one gets prosecuted for false complaints in the military?  So how could that be a bar to reporting – duh?  

    Trial counsel, SJA’s, CID, others routinely ask, and argue to the court:  “why would she make that up.”  Well . . .  Charlie and I and others can tell you that there are some really ridiculous reasons at times.  These are the people investigating and making referral decisions and they have no concept of how or why someone would make up a false allegation.  

    “It turned out Gonzalez robbed McCaffrey of four years of his life for the most trivial of reasons.  She’d been hanging out with a group of girlfriends when she accepted an invitation to get into his car.  After she returned, her pals were furious that she’d ditched them — so she made up the rape story to gain their sympathy. [Note she came forward after talking to a priest and having a touch of conscience – but what if she hadn’t]”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/08/nyregion/08freed.html  or how about this.

    A young mother who falsely claimed she had been gang raped has been jailed for six months.  KH – a mother of three, including a nine-week-old baby – lied about being attacked after police were contacted by her mother.  The court heard that H claimed she had been raped so the father of her two youngest children would get back together with her.
     http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1275643/Mother-jailed-making-false-gang-rape-claims–win-lover.html
    And yet legitimate victims still decline to come forward?  Do my two examples show that civilian authorities are willing to prosecute the liar, but not the military?  It’s not the threat of prosecution that’s stopping legitimate victims coming forward, IMHO.  But on that point it’s OK for the false accuser to rape the career, character, and in many instances family of an innocent male victim, that’s what we are saying, agreeing to, and signing up for –  and that’s OK? – because we all believe we won’t be the ones in that position, it will be someone else.
     
    DP made reference to Lord Hale.  Now there’s a dinosaur not just in terms of age but in thinking on this particular subject.  We do not need to go back in history on this subject.  But I fear we are again lead to be talking about a special instruction to the jury on the ease and severity of a rape charge in the military.  I do think that legitimate victims don’t want to come forward because of how they will be treated, but not just by the system but by their own loved ones.  In other words, the system is only part of the cause, not the cause as some argue.  Society and loved ones still look down on sexual assault victims.  It was not so long ago in this country that a single woman alone with a man lost her reputation.  Certainly in Victorian times that alone could lead to shotgun marriages.  I suspect there are places where that still holds.  And there’s no tinkering with the legal system that’s going to change that.  

    To go back to Lord Hale, the system then was cynical of women in toto, let alone those who complained of rape.  That was and remains a bad thing.  But IMHO the current politicization and approach to the legal process is leading to a deal of cynicism that leads to the common complaint that rape is easy to allege and hard to disprove – that cynicism may not be warranted in any number of cases.  But until discretion is put back into the equation and allowed to work, there will be increased cynicism and the underlying problem of real rape will remain unaddressed.

    As to a central prosecuting authority run by civilians, I’m for it.  It will be a mess, cost millions, employ thousands, and yes Charlie and I will have a bit of it.  And in the long run the stats will look the same mas o menos.  The letter asks for a panel of impartial experts to make prosecution decisions.  I’m for that, if truly independent and impartial and not there just to get convictions in non-existent cases.

    I did a rape case some years ago.  The senior member was a female nurse with seven years experience working in and in leadership in the Navy FAP program.  I kept her as the senior member, and one other female who’d done less but similar type of work.  The client was acquitted.  When criticized for taking that “awful risk” on members selection my answer was simple.  She knew who was a real victim or not.

    I very recently went through an issue with a senior officer and his messy divorce.  When the spouse couldn’t get what she wanted on the money side, guess what – a FAP complaint.  We took an awful risk and cooperated.  Problem solved – unfounded.  Oh, and put that one in the list of reason for a false complaint.

    My point here is that I’m not against or necessarily afraid of “experts” making referral decisions.  My fear is when the system is bent and the people are out to take actions because of base politics, gender politics, and other less honorable reasons. 

    Thanks Some Army Guy.  Like it or not, that’s the perceived “pressure,” and if true it’s an abdication of command responsibility and leadership.  I mention perceived and pressure, but at what point does that morph into UCI.

  23. Captain Healy says:

    The reality of the situations is that no CA wants the media attention/IG Complaint/CONGRINT, and where ever possible the CA will get top cover, at the very least, from the Art 32 Hearing.  At worst, the CA’s are always going to be more concerned for their careers than that of the lowly accused, and at best, the CA’s are more concerned with the process…either way the accused gets the raw deal.  Where the real injustice is is the sex offender registery requirement for all 120 offenses.  This is why I contest ever 120 case, including wrongful sexual contact, because even this misdemeanor carries with it mandatory sex offender register in CORMIS.  What makes it even worse is that nearly all MJ’s will not let you put the members on notice of this direct collateral consequence, which I find to be far more putative than doing a year in the BRIG.

  24. Charlie Gittins says:

    Thanks, Phil.  You are a true gentleman.  You say what I would say rather politely, and without any of my lack of discretion.  This subject pisses me off and has since I was 2LT of Marines.  If there was actually going to be a panel or “experts” rather than a panel of feminista agenda driven lobbyists, I’d be for it, but the evidence in the Army sexual assault “expert” program is all to the contrary.  The reason for all of this activity is because a certain lobby is dissatisfied with conviction rate; their agenda is to increase convictions regardless of whether it is warranted.  The training makes that clear and every defense lawyer worth a crap should be against that. 

  25. Random TC says:

    I hate to break it to you but some people in the military actually rape and just because your a woman doesn’t mean you lie about rape all the time. I’ve even see a few plead guilty, both as DC and TC. The military isn’t full of drunken rapists just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting E1 drunks , but I see a handful a year that are real, need to be tried by any honest measure we had a couple of convictions last year. If you have the guts as TC to tell a CA at it shouldn’t go forward then those that go forward have a much better outcome. And you should prosecute liArs also, which has happened.

  26. Cap'n Crunch says:

    Random TC: the key to prosecutorial discretion is…. discretion.  UCMJ is about good order and discipline.  Pursuing meritorious charges is just as important as rejecting bad ones to good order and discipline.  Pursuing every case where someone cries rape is as detrimental to good order and discipline as is ignoring meritorious cases.  One expects the government attorney, in pursuing their role, to sift through the evidence to ensure justice is done — which means protecting the innocent and nailing the guilty.  Not throwing every case to the jury and letting them sort it out.  With Trial Counsel (and anyone else involved in the military or civilian system), YMMV.

  27. Random TC says:

    Cap’n Crunch, well said and I think my post agrees with that. You have to have the professional guts to tell a CA no, which I’ve seen a lot. Some people/DC do face the “all sex assault allegations get charged.” that’s baloney and unethical. But to claim that nobody ever sexually assaults in years of practice is just farcical or willful blindness on DC part. I’ve seen DC with the mantra of all “sex assaults are lies by the victim” get steamrolled at trial. Just as the Govt should have discretion and stick to actual provable crimes, DC should admit that sex assaults periodically happen. Doesn’t mean you to have to plead them, but to refuse to admit they occur is beyond me.

  28. stewie says:

    Not sure I agree it’s “unethical” to charge all sexual assaults. I think it unethical to go to trial on all of them, particularly if you think the evidence doesn’t support a conviction. I think unfortunately the reality is today that you have to charge them all unless you have strong evidence of deceit by the victim. Then once you have the 32, if the 32 officer says no don’t go forward then you have a strong obligation to listen to that and consider it heavily.
    I think no one has a clue what percentage of sexual assault claims are valid or at least honestly made, and what percentage are lies and anyone who says they do are full of it. All we know is that some percentage of them are not true, probably moreso than any other type of victim claim true enough, but not necessarily a majority of them as some might seem to believe.
    What I don’t get though is, you’d think at some point Soldiers would adapt to the more tightly called rules and adjust their behavior. I would be absolutely scared to death to have sex with a woman if I thought she had a single drink. Heck, I would be scared to death to have sex with her in today’s environment unless she basically ripped my clothes off and threw me down.

  29. soonergrunt says:

    @Stewie, Jan04, 0844:

    Heck, I would be scared to death to have sex with her in today’s environment unless she basically ripped my clothes off and threw me down.

    TMI!!!
    Alternatively, we could counsel military personnel that they need a written agreement stating the date, time, location to an 8-digit grid, etc.  Tell supervisors to never counsel opposite gender personnel unless running a video camera or the door is open or there is another NCO/Officer in the room, etc.

  30. LT Aldo Ray says:

    I have followed this sexual assault mess to the point where my head hurts.  Every male service member is now a lab rat in this gender-biased, military injustice experiment.  

    When the life (not literally) and liberty of an American citizen hangs in the balance, we advise CAs on the potential for negative media and IGs.
    Said another way, we advise CAs to consider what is popular before thinking about whether he/she has the nerve to do what is right.
    Would we tell our children, “Before choosing what you know is right, I want you to think about what others will say?”  No, we would not.
    Yet, those very same CAs stand before boot lieutenants and recruits, delivering their graduation day messages of inspiration and esprit de corps, while proselytizing for high ideals such as Judgment, Justice, Dependability, Integrity, Decisiveness, Tact, Initiative, Endurance, Bearing, Unselfishness, Courage, Knowledge, Loyalty, and Enthusiasm (“JJDIDTIEBUCKLE” we naively chanted during the Two Minutes Hate.).  
    And while we mindlessly chant, our leaders, if you pull back the curtain, are quickly trading their J’s, I’s, C’s, and L’s for a different C, a Y, and an A.
    Those very same CAs capably lead men and women in combat, only to follow it with a knowing, voluntary, and substantial incapacity to lead from behind an oaken desk, not to mention an eager brandishing of their rubber stamps.
    Let these CAs go before the long green table when they disregard an Article 32 no go recommendation.    
    Maybe then (if I may borrow another comment’s language from months ago), when these star-laden collars feel their pants unnecessarily around their ankles, they will remember that those most worthy of the power entrusted to them are those who wield it most cautiously. 

    “Men, women have no control over themselves once they’ve had a wee dram.  Laudanum has been replaced by hard liquor.  Because women can’t control themselves you men have to control yourselves.  Be the gentleman in the room.  If you see a buddy getting fresh with a gentle-lady pull him away, regardless of the sultry looks she’s giving him.”

    I think this comment may have included some sarcasm.
    I hope it did, but since I have not mastered the art of discerning subtleties, I will simply provide my take.
    Men, if you are of the age of majority, are mentally and physically competent, or are mentally and/or physically incompetent only because of voluntary intoxication, you are responsible for your actions, even the ones you do not recall.
    Men, the law says that a woman who is of the age of majority, who is mentally and physically competent, or who is mentally and/or physically incompetent only because of voluntary intoxication is NOT responsible for her actions.  Take note.
    Women, despite the carte blanche granted you by the law, if you are of the age of majority, are mentally and physically competent, or are mentally and/or physically incompetent only because of voluntary intoxication, you SHOULD BE responsible for your actions, even the ones you do not recall.  Someday should be will change to are.
    Men and women, if you legitimately sexually assault someone, you should face punishment.
    Men and women, if you are legitimately sexually assaulted, you should be able to seek justice up to but not including the point at which your pursuit of justice encroaches upon the rights of the accused.  
    That’s not me talking.  That’s basic criminal justice, and you have sworn to support and defend it.

    “At worst, the CA’s are always going to be more concerned for their careers than that of the lowly accused, and at best, the CA’s are more concerned with the process…either way the accused gets the raw deal.”

    Thank you.  

    “What I don’t get though is, you’d think at some point Soldiers would adapt to the more tightly called rules and adjust their behavior. I would be absolutely scared to death to have sex with a woman if I thought she had a single drink. Heck, I would be scared to death to have sex with her in today’s environment unless she basically ripped my clothes off and threw me down.”

    An unreasonable expectation of service members — young, old, female, male, hetero, homo, or otherwise, if for no other reason than the ridiculous and impractical training.
    Yes, we once thought that getting people to stop mid-coitus to don a condom was impossible, but it has happened.
    But think about it.  Are people seriously going to listen to the idea that alcohol-free sex is the only sex you should have?
    Our omniscient masters actually stand in front of service members with a straight face and preach laughable slogans like, “One drink, no consent.”
    This material is a punch line and fosters zero gender equality.  
    I once heard that at Tufts University multiple students complained that their roommates were engaging in sex while the complaining student was still present in the dorm room.
    Tufts responded by implementing a policy that banned sex in dorm rooms while a roommate was present.
    The running joke was that Tufts students had already found a loophole in the policy:  They were going to do it anyway.
    Granted, that is an example involving 18-22-year old college students, whose standard of behavior is obviously far inferior to ours, but the idea applies to people in general, not just college students: such ridiculous efforts as attempting to eliminate alcohol from dating and seduction will be ignored.  

    With their handling of this politically sensitive issue, people are forgetting that their paramount allegiance is not to “the interest of the Army,” the Navy, the Marines, etc.  Our organizations are filled with people, and people abuse the powers and authorities granted them.  Rather, our paramount allegiance is to a document.  That allegiance is described in our oaths, and it is so described because a document is not swayed by transitory passion and indiscretion.  A pox upon Congress and the DoD for their spinelessness in the face of this narrow-minded zealotry.  
     

  31. LT Aldo Raine says:

    I preach, and then I misspell my own tag.  A pox upon me.  

  32. stewie says:

    “An unreasonable expectation of service members”

    Well, not sure that it is. If you see someone has been drinking, then don’t have sex with them. Pretty easy. Now, it may get a lot murkier if you are living with that person or married to them, but generally speaking we don’t see a many of those cases.

    But if you just met her tonight, or don’t have a history of consensual sex, and you know she’s consumed alcohol, then I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to tell them, you probably should just pass.

    Now it would be unreasonable to have a LEGAL standard that said one drink equals inability to consent, but I don’t think it unreasonable to approach it from a practical standpoint that if you know she’s had a drink to just say, I’ll pass.

  33. ksf says:

    Just a few tips for the men who may be falsely accused of sexual assault taken from my client’s cases:
    1.  Always 18 or older
    2.  Always sober
    3.  Only if you have enthusiastic consent.
    4.  Voice record the act with your cell phone.
    5.  Incorporate some oral work below the equator during your foreplay routine.
    6.  Let her be on top.