Argument Preview: Reviewing the mid-trial amendment of one specification, and the sufficiency of another, in United States v. Reese, No. 17-0028/CG
CAAF will hear oral argument in the Coast Guard case of United States v. Reese, No. 17-0028/CG (CAAFlog case page), on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. Two granted issues challenge the wording of the charges; the first based on a change made during the trial and the second based on the omission of words of criminality from a specification under Article 134:
I. Whether the military judge erred in allowing the government to make a major change to a specification after the complaining witness’s testimony did not support the offense as originally charged.
II. Whether the specification of the additional charge fails to state an offense where the terminal element failed to allege words of criminality and where the alleged conduct fell within a listed offense of Article 134, UCMJ.
Aviation Maintenance Technician First Class (E-6) Reese elected to be tried by a military judge alone. Reese pleaded guilty to numerous offenses but he pleaded not guilty to other offenses including allegations of sexual abuse of a four year old boy, EV. Reese was also charged with engaging in service discrediting conduct in violation of Article 134 for telling the boy to keep quiet about the alleged sexual abuse.