We noted the Air Force’s use of junior enlisted personnel as confidential informants in this post from 2013. Then, in this post from 2014, we noted this Daily Beast story about one such informant who alleged that she was sexually assaulted, but the allegation was suspected to be fraudulent.

A reader tipped me off to an opinion issued by the AFCCA on Thursday, in which it affirms that same informant’s pleas of guilty to numerous offenses, including “making 10 false official statements, all related to a false claim that she had been sexually assaulted.” United States v. Neubauer, No. S32308, slip op. at 1 (A.F. Ct. Crim. App. Mar. 10, 2016) (link to slip op.). The opinion provides details about the false claim. The appellant was sentenced to confinement for 4 months, forfeiture of $1,031 pay per month for 12 months, and a bad-conduct discharge. A pretrial agreement capped confinement at 84 days.

20 Responses to “AFCCA affirms an informant’s guilty pleas to “making 10 false official statements, all related to a false claim that she had been sexually assaulted””

  1. That Guy says:

    84 days? Where did THAT number come from? Do we not like nice even round numbers in the Air Force? Does 84 days get you some action that you do not get in 80 days? Is there a Top Gun reference in here somewhere? I am just so perplexed at that number.

  2. DCGoneGalt says:

    I am sure The Daily Beast will run a correction of the prior articles, which appear to be a transcription of the false allegation.  Wayne’s World Flying Monkeys
    The case is a guilty plea to charges covering driving without privileges after a DUI, using Spice, 2 divers specs for uses of marijuana, 10 false official statements relating to a false sexual assault allegation, soliciting another Airman to lie to cover up her crimes, breaking restriction and soliciting another Airman to assist her in doing so.  And the statements surrounding the false allegation include claiming she was impregnated by the man who raped her and asking the person she had consensual sex with on the night she alleges she was raped to lie to cover for her.
    This is a first-ballot 2% Hall of Fame inductee.

  3. k fischer says:

    But, I just don’t understand.  Why would an Airman make up such a detailed story if she was lying?  You would have to believe she was Satan spawn to falsely accuse some random non-military guy at a party with raping her in the bathroom.  Why would she go through the humiliation of having a rape kit performed on her?  She wouldn’t do that if she weren’t really raped, would she? 
    Oh, to have been the Military Judge on that providence inquiry……
    h/t to Galt for transferring the focus on a Marine false allegation of being wrongly convicted and placing it back onto a false accuser.

  4. President Comacho says:

    How dare the victim industry not make a public statement – Protect Our Defenders? – Anything? She has to be a victim of something – she is a female.  Even Ederly’s victim was defended in the news or was it the victim in the US v. Wright case.
    She must be a 2 percenter.

  5. Concerned Defender says:

    Hell hath frozen over!  On second glace, even when the TCs get it right, they got it wrong.  First of all, refering this to a Special Court Martial?  Are you kidding me?  By my quick estimation, she was potentially facing a dozen or more felony type offenses and somewhere in the range of 60-90 years in prison and a DD (max).  So the TCs dropped the ball right there.  Then they screwed the pooch on the deal!  84 days??  The Defense Counsel must have been laughing their way to the courtroom.  Wow, the TCs must have not felt they had a strong case, which would have otherwise seemed pretty solid.  
    Seems most of the charges would have been independently corroborated and pretty strong.  Violating the orders, the drugs, the conspiracy or solidification to lie, most or all of the false statements, etc. 
    And they could have tacked on the prior drunk driving in spite of the fact she had gotten an ART 15 for it previously.  I’m glad she was convicted, but talk about a slap on the wrist for a pattern of serious misconduct…  She got nothing worse, and frankly not that bad of a sentence in line with a single or multiple drug use conviction.   Had I been the TC, assuming this was as easily proven as what the evidence suggests, I’d have preferred it to a General, and opened a deal at around 5 years and taken no less than a few years confinement for this serious misconduct.  
    I wonder if it was inept Trial Counsel, or stellar Defense Counsel ….
    To the TC credit, their closing argument hit “fair and hard blows” regarding the integrity of the claims of sex assault for all victims.  I’m still puzzled why they would accept such an absurdly low qorum of 84 days.   Note the MJ did something not often done, and gave her the MAXIMUM punishment of 12 months at a Special Court.  The MJ must have been puzzled at how this was a Special Court Martial…
    Thank you to CAAFLOG for providing this case!  I will certainly cite to it in the future in support of my position of individuals lying they were sexually assaulted.  

  6. k fischer says:

    Bro, she only gwat far months, Bro.
    Will Hunting

  7. Tami a/k/a Princess Leia says:

    Kind of puts that whole “only 2-8% of allegations are false” thing in perspective.  Which I am sure the SHARP folks will never talk about because of fwar of deterring real sexual assault victims from reporting.

  8. DCGoneGalt says:

    I’m not a 2% but this is only one case, not a trend.  With that being said, it’s a masterpiece!

  9. k fischer says:

    I am embracing the 2% false narrative.  Because the unfounded rate in the military is 14%.  So what dynamic exists in the military that results in false allegations to thrive at seven times the civilian rate?  Is it that the military with a PCS every two to three years allows a Borderline Personality Disordered person the opportunity to bounce around so that things are constantly new and they don’t act out, or the people in charge don’t make the effort to get rid of them?  Or is the bureaucracy fertile ground for backstabbing because if you don’t like your boss or a peer, you just need to falsely accuse them of sexual misconduct to secure your place in the Military?

  10. DCGoneGalt says:

    I don’t have the slightest notion of how many allegations are false, and neither do the 2%’ers.  It certainly seems to me that there are a very small number of cases that you can prove are false due to a deliberate desire of the complainant to lie.  However, I include within false allegations those cases that do not constitute a crime even if you take the complainant allegation at face value.  For instance, there have been a number of cases I have seen where a complainant blacks out but the complaint and witness statements clearly show either consensual conduct or a clear mistake of fact.  In these instances, I believe there is a false allegation but the complainant is certainly not morally blameworthy.  On the other end of the spectrum, there are a limited number of cases that can be proven to be true to a beyond a reasonable doubt standard.  This includes even some cases that do not result in conviction because not all cases of truthful accusations result in convictions (whether due to high burden, evidentiary rules, complainant refusing to cooperate/desire not to prosecute, etc.).  I believe the vast majority of cases are in the middle area and it is the nature of the judicial system that those cases usually result, and should result, in acquittal or no formal bringing of charges.
    The majority of the allegations do not lend themselves to categorical placement in true or false boxes.  Efforts to define all claims as as true or false (or portray those only those cases that can be proven true or false as the sole examples of the whole that are true or false) are incomplete in their analysis. 
    I long ago concluded the 2%’ers are a making a political statement and are immune to reason.  I refuse to become a 14%’r (or pick some other number) because I don’t feel sexual assault allegations (especially those involving mistake of fact) lend themselves to black and white categorization.

  11. Concerned Defender says:

    I have a good friend who was the victim of a real rape.  There are dangerous people in the world and I have no issues with providing services to real victims, and charges against real perps.  However, the big issue is the incentives for false reporting.  This takes resources away from victims and convicts innocent men of a terrible crime.  We, on both sides of the aisle as TCs and DCs and even MJs should do everything in our power to prevent the injustice of a false allegation and wrongful conviction.  Sadly we are creating nice incentives to falsely report;  job security, exonerating ones’ own misconduct, clearing ones’ reputation, saving ones’ own marriage/relationships through exoneration of victimhood; VA 10% disability benefits; state and federal $ for victimhood; etc. 
    To that end, it’s incumbent that TCs must thoroughly vet their complaining witnesses.  I propose  stern lecture to anyone claiming rape.  “Look, I am going to listen carefully to your allegation and take notes.  Then we will investigate the allegation.  If what you tell me is true, we will use all of our resources to help you and to prosecute the other person.  Your allegation is very serious and could ruin the other person’s life.  This isn’t a game.  However, if what you tell me is a lie, we will prosecute you for lying and making a false complaint.  Now, if you’d like to proceed, you have my full attention.”
    Something that simple and straightforward would go a long way to clearing up the abuses and waste and wrongful prosecutions, while also protecting the true victims and integrity of the system.  

  12. k fischer says:

    I like it. Sounds like “No better friend, no worse enemy.”

  13. Quid Pro Quo says:

    So, this Airman drives without privileges after a DUI, uses “spice,” possesses marijuana, uses marijuana on divers occasions, obstructs justice by soliciting false statements from a witness, breaks restriction, and solicits another Airman to help her break restriction.  
    And then, in order to get a PTA cap of 82 days for that litany of repeated offenses, she only had to make 10 false official statements alleging sexual assault.  That’s a good deal for her …

  14. The Ghost of Silver Fox says:

    Long article but worth the read.  

  15. DCGoneGalt says:

    Ghost of Silver Fox:  Good article, read it a couple months ago. Any idea how DOD classifies cases where there is a recantation but there is evidence that the alleged incident actually occurred?  My instinct is that it is easy to just fire them into the unfounded category and forget about it. But there is no definitive proof that a recantation alone makes an allegation false (although it certainly is not indicative of truthfulness) just as on the flip side there are those who would argue that there are court-martial convictions of allegations that people will continue to believe are false.  The frustration is in trying to fit the vast majority of unknowns into black and white categories.

  16. k fischer says:

    The Ghost of Silver Fox,
    I see your wrongly convicted false accuser who the cops failed to “start by believing”, and raise you a mistaken false accuser who the cops failed to stop believing even when DNA exonerated the accused and wrongly confined until she was murdered by the actual rapist.
    I am about to sue the City of Columbus, and the two cops involved in a 1983 action.

  17. Joseph Wilkinson says:

    Any idea how DOD classifies cases where there is a recantation but there is evidence that the alleged incident actually occurred?  My instinct is that it is easy to just fire them into the unfounded category and forget about it. 
    I have one (Army) experience where there was a recantation and no evidence (outside the original allegation) that the incidents occurred (in fact, the physical evidence strongly pointed the other way).  CID’s solution was to “found” the allegation and title the Soldier anyway, on the theory that the accuser must’ve been “pressured” into recanting.  They had a social worker on staff to provide the necessary sophistries. 

  18. k fischer says:

    My experience has been that CID at Ft. Benning will take a statement from the alleged vic, then do NOTHING THAT RESEMBLES ANYTHING REMOTELY LOGICAL to verify the truthfulness of that statement.  When I write them a letter outlining what they should do to find exculpatory evidence, they almost completely ignore my requests and merely file the letter and add a blurb in the case notes.  If the accused makes a statement and denies the allegation, then they try to get the accused to lie about something seemingly inconsequential and found it.  If he does not lie, then they found it.  If he lawyers up, then they found it. 
    I had a case similar to yours.  I shared a recording of the recantation with CID in good faith, so they would not have it founded.  Same deal–founded.  The case went away when the SVP started screaming f’bombs at the child accuser and I interviewed the accuser with her Mom, the VWL, the grandmother, and co-counsel in the room with a voice recorder about what happened.  Client went on to retire from the Army.
    The business person in me should be thrilled when stupid cases get preferred.  A preferral of charges exponentially increases my legal fees, as I have found in my personal experience that guilty Servicemembers who should go to jail do not hire civilian attorneys.  (The criteria for whether a case is stupid is (1) when the person is innocent, or (2) the person is not innocent, but the case should not have been elevated to a Court-martial.)

  19. DCGoneGalt says:

    k fischer:  Defending weak cases has been, is, and will remain in the near future a bullish market.

  20. Charlie Gittins says:

    KF:  I had the same experience in the Stewart case.  My client lawyered up when NCIS came to visit.  We provided a detailed, fact specific declaration of the events of the interlude in the form of a declaration which included details of their past relationship that had been conveniently omitted from the prosecutrix’s story.  I asked the NCIS agent under oath at trial what, if anything, she did to determine whether my client’s story was accurate or why the prosecutrix omitted those facts from her interview?  Answer:  “Nothing.  I didn’t believe it relevant.”  Really? 
    Another case involving two girls who alleged (after significant coaching from grandma, who didn’t like my client and the fact that he was married to her daughter), multiple acts of rape (12 and 9 years old at the time).  Their stories “evolved” prior to trial to finally get to child rape, but I was not TDC, so I had what I had from trial to work with.  The client was convicted of multiple rapes and indecent acts and sentenced to less than a year confinement.  The sentence screamed residual doubt, so when I was hired for the appeal, I interviewed the daughters and they copped to lying at trial.  I asked them if they would consent to a deposition and they did with the consent of their mother (who did not ever believe the accusations).  I sent notice to the Appellate G counsel of the deposition and they did not show (surprise).  The girls testified under oath about the coaching and promises made by grandma if they lied.  Petition for New Trial granted.  Unsurprisingly, no retrial ever occurred and my client is probably coming up on his retirement eligibility about now.  Thankfully his blessedly short sentence left the window open for our Petition for New Trial and I was not pinned to an appeal on a crappy record.