Gonzalez & Waddington – Attorneys at Law

CALL NOW 1-800-921-8607

lementor-type="wp-page" data-elementor-id="75009" class="elementor elementor-75009" data-elementor-post-type="page">

UCMJ Article 120 Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

Facing a court-martial, UCMJ action, Administrative Separation Board, or other Adverse Administrative Action for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact? Call our experienced military defense lawyers at 1-800-921-8607 for a free consultation.

“Your career, reputation, and even your freedom hang in the balance. A single misstep could derail everything you’ve worked for. This isn’t just a legal matter; it’s a fight for your future.” (Michael Waddington, Military Defense Lawyer).
Note: This law applies only to Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019

What is Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear?

Article 120 Ucmj Abusive Sexual Contact By Threatening Or Placing That Other Person In FearAbusive sexual contact under Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) is a serious offense that involves sexual touching or contact by using threats or placing another person in fear. This crime is particularly severe due to the coercive nature of the act, where the victim’s consent is obtained through intimidation or fear rather than freely given. Understanding the gravity of such accusations is crucial for anyone facing these charges in the military justice system.
Article 120 UCMJ outlines various forms of sexual misconduct, including abusive sexual contact by threatening or placing another person in fear. This specific provision addresses situations where the accused uses threats, either explicit or implicit, to compel the victim to engage in unwanted sexual contact. The fear induced can be physical harm, reputational damage, or any other form of intimidation that coerces the victim into compliance. The military justice system takes these allegations very seriously, reflecting the importance of maintaining a safe and respectful environment within the armed forces. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)
Being accused of abusive sexual contact under Article 120 UCMJ carries severe consequences. Convictions can lead to significant penalties, including dishonorable discharge, confinement, forfeiture of pay, and a permanent mark on one’s military record. Given these potential outcomes, the accused must seek immediate legal assistance from the best military defense lawyers. Hiring experienced Article 120 UCMJ lawyers is crucial for several reasons. Firstly, the complexities of military law require a deep understanding of the UCMJ and the procedural nuances of courts-martial. A proficient defense lawyer can navigate these complexities, ensuring the accused’s rights are protected throughout the legal process. Secondly, accusations of sexual misconduct carry a significant social stigma, both within and outside the military community. A knowledgeable lawyer can help mitigate these reputational damages by crafting a strong defense strategy to attack the allegations or minimize the penalties. Moreover, the investigative process for sexual misconduct cases under Article 120 UCMJ can be exhaustive and invasive. Skilled defense lawyers are adept at scrutinizing the evidence, identifying procedural errors, and challenging the credibility of the prosecution’s case. They can also provide invaluable support and guidance to the accused during this stressful period, helping to maintain their morale and focus.

What are the Elements of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused [committed sexual contact upon] [caused ________ to commit sexual contact upon] (victim) by (state the alleged sexual contact); and
  2. That the accused did so by threatening or placing (victim) in fear. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)
Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for UCMJ Article 120 Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear (Abusive Sexual Contact) vary depending on the date of the offense. In the military, the crime of UCMJ Article 120, Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear, falls under the general offense category of Abusive Sexual Contact. It is one of the more serious offenses under the UCMJ and carries significant mandatory punishments. Offenses committed after December 27, 2023, carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 1-36 months (1 month to 3 years). If convicted, the defendant must register as a Federal and State sex offender. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

What are the Abusive Sexual Contact Offenses Under Article 120 UCMJ?

What are the Maximum Punishments for Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear, Article 120 UCMJ?

For offenses committed between 1 Jan 2019 and 27 Dec 2023:

For offenses committed after 27 Dec 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear, Article 120 UCMJ, is a Category 2 Offense
  • Mandatory confinement ranges from 1-36 months (1 month to 3 years)
  • Dishonorable Discharge, BCD, Dismissal
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • Collateral Consequences of a Federal Felony Conviction
  • Collateral Consequences of Registration as a State & Federal Sex Offender
  • Note: The Military Judge MAY impose a period of confinement less than the jurisdictional maximum period of confinement upon finding specific facts that warrant such a sentence. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.), Appendix 12B-C

Combined UCMJ Maximum Punishment Charts

Sample Model Specification: Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

In that COL Richard Troutman, US Marine Corps, did, at or near Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, on or about 3 November 2024, touch directly, the penis of LCpl Billy Paine, with COL Richard Troutman’s body part, to wit: his hand, with an intent to abuse LCpl Billy Paine, by placing Placing LCpl Billy Paine in fear.

What are the Definitions for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear?

“Sexual contact” means touching, or causing another person to touch, either directly or through the clothing, the vulva, penis, scrotum, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of any person, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person. Touching may be accomplished by any part of the body or an object. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

Threat or placing in fear. When the sexual contact is alleged by threat or by placing in fear, include the following instructions:

“Threatening or placing a person in fear” means a communication or action that is of sufficient consequence to cause a reasonable fear that non-compliance will result in the victim or another person being subjected to the wrongful action contemplated by the communication or action.

“Wrongful action,” as used here, includes an abuse of military rank, position, or authority to engage in sexual contact with a victim. This includes but is not limited to, threats to initiate an adverse personnel action or withhold a favorable personnel action unless the victim submits to the accused’s requested sexual contact.

Superiority in rank is a factor in, but not dispositive of, whether a reasonable person in the position of the victim would fear that his or her noncompliance with the accused’s desired sexual contact would result in the threatened wrongful action contemplated by the communication or action.

In proving that a person made a threat, it need not be proven that the person intended to carry out the threat or could carry out the threat. The threat or fear in this case must be that the alleged victim or another person would be subjected to the wrongful action.

“Unlawful force” means an act of force done without legal justification or excuse.

Force and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

“Force” means the use of a weapon; the use of such physical strength or violence as is sufficient to overcome, restrain, or injure a person; or inflicting physical harm sufficient to coerce or compel submission by the victim.

Marriage and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear. Marriage is not a defense to any offense violating UCMJ Article 120 Sexual Contact by Force. If necessary, include the following instruction: Marriage is not a defense to this offense. The “vulva” is the external genital organs of the female, including the entrance of the vagina and the labia majora and labia minora. “Labia” is the Latin and medically correct term for “lips.”

If Evidence of Consent to Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear has Been Raised, then the Military Judge Will Give the Following Instructions:

Evidence of consent. Evidence of the alleged victim’s consent to the sexual conduct may be relevant, even for offenses that do not include “lack of consent” as an element. Evidence of the alleged victim’s consent to the sexual conduct might be introduced concerning any abusive sexual contact allegation in order to negate the elements of the offense. Generally, the elements of an Article 120(d) offense require the accused to have committed sexual conduct “ by” a certain method or “ when” the alleged victim was in a certain state. Stated another way, “ by” means the sexual conduct occurred because of that method, and “ when” means the sexual conduct occurred while the alleged victim was in a state that precluded consent.

Consent and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

Consent to the sexual conduct logically precludes these causal links; when the alleged victim consented, the sexual conduct occurred because of the consent, not because of the charged method. Accordingly, evidence that the alleged victim consented to the sexual conduct may be relevant to negate an element, even though lack of consent may not be a separate element. In such situations the following instruction, properly tailored, would be appropriate. The evidence has raised the issue of whether (state the alleged victim’s name) consented to the sexual conduct listed in (The) Specification(s) (__________) of (The) (Additional) Charge (___). All of the evidence concerning consent to the sexual conduct is relevant and must be considered in determining whether the government has proven (the elements of the offense) (that the sexual conduct was done by state the element(s) to which the evidence concerning consent relates) beyond a reasonable doubt. Stated another way, evidence the alleged victim consented to the sexual conduct, either alone or in conjunction with the other evidence in this case, may cause you to have a reasonable doubt as to whether the government has proven (every element of the offense) (that the sexual conduct was done by state the element(s) to which the evidence concerning consent relates).

IF CONSENT EVIDENCE HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO NEGATE OTHER ELEMENTS OF THE CHARGED OFFENSE, GIVE THE FOLLOWING INSTRUCTION:

“Consent” under Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact means a freely given agreement to the conduct at issue by a competent person. An expression of lack of consent through words or conduct means no consent. Lack of verbal or physical resistance does not constitute consent. Submission resulting from the use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear also does not constitute consent.
A current or previous dating or social or sexual relationship by itself or the manner of dress of the person involved with the accused in the conduct at issue does not constitute consent.
  • A sleeping, unconscious, or incompetent person cannot consent.
  • A person cannot consent to force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.
  • A person cannot consent to being rendered unconscious.
  • A person cannot consent while under threat or in fear.
  • A “competent person” is a person who possesses the physical and mental ability to consent.
  • An “incompetent person” is a person who is incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct at issue, or physically incapable of declining participation in or communicating unwillingness to engage in the sexual act at issue.
  • All the surrounding circumstances are to be considered in determining whether a person gave consent.

Mistake of Fact is a Legal Defense for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

The military judge must determine whether a mistake of fact has been raised by the evidence in an Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear case. See RCM 916(j). When the evidence has reasonably raised a mistake of fact (e.g., a mistake of fact as to consent to the sexual conduct), include the following instruction on an honest and reasonable mistake of fact.

The judge must carefully evaluate the evidence presented by both sides in such cases to determine the applicability of the following instruction. If instructing on an attempted offense, the honest mistake of fact instruction in Instruction 5-11-1 should be given instead of this instruction.

The evidence has raised the issue of mistake of fact to the offense(s) of (state the alleged offense(s)), as alleged in (the) specification(s) (___) of (the) (additional) Charge (___).

There has been (evidence) (testimony) tending to show that, at the time of the alleged offense(s), the accused mistakenly believed that [(state the name of the victim) consented to the sexual conduct alleged] [__________] concerning (this) (these) offense(s).

Mistake of fact is a defense to (that) (those) charged offense(s).

Mistake of Fact and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

“Mistake of fact” under Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact means the accused held, as a result of ignorance or mistake, an incorrect belief that [the other person consented to the sexual conduct] [__________]. The ignorance or mistake must have existed in the mind of the accused and must have been reasonable under all the circumstances.

To be reasonable, the ignorance or mistake must have been based on information, or lack of it, that would indicate to a reasonable person that [the other person consented to the sexual conduct] [__________]. (Additionally, the ignorance or mistake cannot be based on the negligent failure to discover the true facts.

Negligence and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

“Negligence” under Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact is the absence of due care.

“Due care” under Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contactis what a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.)

You should consider the inherent probability or improbability of the evidence presented on this matter. You should consider the accused’s (age) (education) (experience) (__________), along with the other evidence in this case (including, but not limited to (here the military judge may specify significant evidentiary factors bearing on the issue and indicate the respective contentions of counsel for both sides)).

The prosecution has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense of mistake of fact did not exist. If you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that, at the time of the charged offense(s), the accused did not believe that [the alleged victim consented to the sexual conduct] [__________], the defense does not exist.

Furthermore, even if you conclude the accused was under a mistaken belief that [the alleged victim consented to the sexual conduct] [__________], if you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time of the charged offense(s) the accused’s mistake was unreasonable, the defense does not exist.

Voluntary intoxication and mistake of fact in Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear cases. Suppose there is evidence of the accused’s voluntary intoxication. In that case, the following instruction is appropriate in conjunction with a mistake of fact instruction:

There has been some evidence concerning the accused’s intoxication at the time of the alleged offense. On the question of whether the accused’s (ignorance) (belief) was reasonable, you may not consider the accused’s intoxication, if any, because a reasonable (ignorance) (belief) is one that an ordinary, prudent, sober adult would have under the circumstances of this case. Voluntary intoxication does not permit what would be an unreasonable (ignorance) (belief) in the mind of a sober person to be considered reasonable because the person is intoxicated.

Voluntary intoxication and “knew or reasonably should have known” in Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear cases. When the accused is charged with abusive sexual contact of a person who was asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual contact was occurring or a person who was incapable of consenting to the sexual contact, and there is evidence that the accused was intoxicated, the following instruction may be appropriate concerning whether the accused “knew or reasonably should have known” the alleged victim’s state.

The evidence has raised the issue of voluntary intoxication about the offense(s) of (state the alleged offense(s)). Concerning (that) (those) offense(s), I advised you earlier that the government is required to prove that the accused knew or reasonably should have known that (state the name of the alleged victim) was [asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual contact was occurring] [incapable of consenting to the sexual contact(s) due to (impairment by a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance) (a mental disease or defect, or physical disability)]. In deciding whether the accused had such knowledge, you should consider the evidence of voluntary intoxication.

Intoxicants and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear cases

The law recognizes that a person’s ordinary thought process may be materially affected when under the influence of intoxicants. Thus, evidence that the accused was intoxicated may, either alone or together with other evidence in the case, cause you to have a reasonable doubt that the accused had the required knowledge.

On the other hand, the fact that the accused may have been intoxicated at the time of the offense(s) does not necessarily indicate that he/she was unable to have the required knowledge because a person may be drunk yet still be aware at that time of his/her actions and their probable results. In deciding whether the accused had the required knowledge, you should consider the effect of intoxication, if any, as well as the other evidence in the case.

Burden of Proof in Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear cases

Article 120 Ucmj Abusive Sexual Contact By Threatening Or Placing That Other Person In Fear Military Defense LawyersThe burden of proof is on the prosecution to establish the accused’s guilt. If you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused in fact had the required knowledge, the accused will not avoid criminal responsibility because of voluntary intoxication.

However, on the question of whether the accused “reasonably should have known” that (state the name of the person alleged) was [asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual contact was occurring] [incapable of consenting to the sexual contact(s) due to (impairment by a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance) (a mental disease or defect, or physical disability)], you may not consider the accused’s intoxication, if any, because what a person reasonably should have known refers to what an ordinary, prudent, sober adult would have reasonably known under the circumstances of this case.

In summary, voluntary intoxication should be considered in determining whether the accused had actual knowledge that (state the name of the person alleged) was [asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual contact was occurring] [incapable of consenting to the sexual contact(s) due to (impairment by a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance) (a mental disease or defect, or physical disability)].

Voluntary intoxication should not be considered in determining whether the accused “reasonably should have known” that (state the name of the person alleged) was [asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual contact was occurring] [incapable of consenting to the sexual contact(s) due to (impairment by a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance) (a mental disease or defect, or physical disability)].

Legal References for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

Definition of “vulva.” See US v Williams, 25 MJ 854 (AFCMR 1988) pet. denied, 27 MJ 166 (CMA 1988) and US v. Tu, 30 MJ 587 (ACMR 1990) ; Definition of “competent person.” See US v. Pease, 75 MJ 180 (CAAF 2016).

What are the collateral consequences of having to register as a convicted sex offender?

Sex Offenders Often Cannot Live Near or Visit “Places Where Children Congregate.”
What does that mean? It means a registered sex offender may not be allowed to live near or visit schools, parks and playgrounds, beaches, shopping malls, stores, movie theaters, community centers, places of worship, libraries, recreational facilities, skating rinks, bus stops, and many more.

Potential Collateral Consequences of a Conviction of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact Without Consent

A military member convicted of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact Without Consent must register as a sex offender. A registered sex offender may suffer the following collateral consequences:
  • Denied housing or difficulty finding housing
  • Loss of family
  • Isolation
  • No educational opportunities
  • Unemployable or difficulty finding employment
  • Physical assault
  • Increased homelessness
  • Harassment
  • Financial hardship
  • Stigmatization
  • The decline in mental health
  • No internet access
  • Deterioration of social bonds
  • Loss of residency
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Social disgrace and humiliation
  • Loss of friends
  • Loss of custody of children
  • Lack of privacy

Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear Military Defense Lawyers

If you are suspected or accused of UCMJ Article 120 Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear, reach out to speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your best defense strategy.

What is Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear?

Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) encompasses various forms of sexual misconduct within the military, with one specific provision addressing abusive sexual contact by threatening or placing another person in fear. This offense highlights the military’s commitment to maintaining a safe and respectful environment for all service members.

Understanding Article 120 UCMJ

Article 120 UCMJ covers a range of sexual offenses, including rape, sexual assault, and abusive sexual contact. The specific provision dealing with abusive sexual contact by threatening or placing another person in fear involves non-consensual sexual contact where the perpetrator uses threats or instills fear to compel compliance.

Basics of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

To secure a conviction under this provision, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
  • The accused engaged in sexual contact with another person.
  • The sexual contact was achieved by threatening or placing the other person in fear.
“Sexual contact” is defined broadly under the UCMJ to include intentional touching, either directly or through the clothing, of the genitalia, anus, groin, breast, inner thigh, or buttocks of another person with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

Consequences of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in FearConviction

A conviction under Article 120 UCMJ for abusive sexual contact by threatening or placing another person in fear carries severe penalties, reflecting the seriousness of the offense. Potential consequences include:
  • Dishonorable discharge from the military.
  • Lengthy prison sentences.
  • Forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
  • Mandatory registration as a sex offender.
In addition to these direct penalties, significant collateral consequences can impact the convicted individual for the rest of their life. These include:
  • Difficulty finding employment due to the dishonorable discharge and sex offender status.
  • Social stigma and isolation resulting from the nature of the offense.
  • Restrictions on residency and travel due to sex offender registration requirements.
  • Loss of civil rights, such as voting or owning firearms.

The Importance of Legal Representation in Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

Given the severity of the charges and the harsh consequences of a conviction, it is crucial for anyone accused of violating Article 120 UCMJ to seek legal representation immediately. An experienced military defense lawyer can provide critical support and guidance throughout the legal process. They can:
  • Thoroughly investigate the allegations and gather evidence to build a strong defense.
  • Challenge the prosecution’s evidence and question the credibility of witnesses.
  • Negotiate with prosecutors to seek reduced charges or favorable plea agreements.
  • Advocate for the accused’s rights in court and strive for the best possible outcome.
A skilled defense lawyer understands the complexities of military law and can navigate the unique aspects of court-martial proceedings. They are essential in ensuring that the accused receives a fair trial and their rights are protected at every stage.

Further Legal Considerations for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

Understanding the full scope of Article 120 UCMJ requires awareness of the broader legal framework and precedents that shape its application. Several legal considerations come into play when defending against such charges:
  • Presumption of Innocence: Despite the serious nature of the charges, every accused individual is presumed innocent until proven guilty. This foundational principle ensures that the prosecution bears the burden of proof.
  • Evidentiary Standards: The prosecution must present clear and convincing evidence to meet the high standard of proof required for a conviction. This includes forensic evidence, witness testimony, and other relevant documentation.
  • Legal Defenses: A variety of defenses may be available, including lack of intent, mistaken identity, or consent (in cases where the victim’s age is not an element of the crime). A defense lawyer will carefully evaluate the circumstances to determine the most appropriate defense strategy.
  • Mitigating Factors: In the event of a conviction, presenting mitigating factors during sentencing can potentially reduce the severity of the punishment. This might include evidence of the accused’s good character, lack of prior offenses, or other extenuating circumstances.

Long-Term Implications of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

The repercussions of a conviction under Article 120 UCMJ extend far beyond the immediate penalties. The long-term implications can affect various aspects of the individual’s life:
  • Career Impact: A dishonorable discharge effectively ends a military career and can significantly hinder future employment opportunities, particularly in fields requiring security clearances or background checks.
  • Family and Relationships: The social stigma and legal restrictions associated with a sex offender status can strain or sever family relationships and friendships, leading to social isolation.
  • Legal Obligations: Convicted individuals must comply with sex offender registration requirements, including regular check-ins with law enforcement, residency restrictions, and public notification.
  • Mental Health: The stress and trauma of the legal process, combined with the consequences of a conviction, can have significant mental health impacts, requiring ongoing support and counseling.

Resources and Support for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

Accessing available resources and support is crucial for those facing charges under Article 120 UCMJ. Organizations and services that can provide assistance include:
  • Military Legal Assistance: Military legal assistance offices offer free legal advice and representation to service members, helping them navigate the complexities of military justice.
  • Veterans’ Organizations: Groups such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the American Legion support and advocate for service members and veterans dealing with legal issues.
  • Counseling Services: Mental health services, including counseling and support groups, can help individuals cope with their situation’s emotional and psychological effects.
  • Educational Materials: Accessing reputable educational materials and legal resources can help individuals understand their rights and the legal process.

Military Defense Lawyers for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact by Threatening or Placing That Other Person in Fear

Navigating the complexities of Article 120 UCMJ requires a thorough understanding of the law, the elements of the offense, and the potential consequences of a conviction. The stakes are high, so seeking knowledgeable legal representation and utilizing available resources is imperative. By doing so, individuals accused of this serious crime can better protect their rights and work towards the best possible outcome in their case. If you or someone you know is involved in a military criminal case related to Article 120 UCMJ, taking immediate action to secure experienced legal counsel is essential. The consequences of a conviction are profound and far-reaching, impacting every aspect of the individual’s life. Legal assistance is not only a right but a crucial element in ensuring justice and fair treatment within the military justice system.

Abusive Sexual Contact Reporting Data and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

“In APY 22-23, the Department received numerous reports of abusive sexual contact involving cadets, midshipmen, and prep students. These incidents highlight a persistent issue within the military academies that demands ongoing attention and action.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 10
“The number of reports of abusive sexual contact was a significant component of the overall sexual misconduct reports, which saw a decrease in APY 22-23. Despite the decline, the prevalence of such incidents underscores the need for continued preventive measures and support systems.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 8

Demographics and Trends and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

“Most victims in investigations of abusive sexual contact incidents are female, reflecting a broader trend observed across various forms of sexual misconduct within the academies. This demographic insight is crucial for tailoring support services and preventive strategies to better address the needs of the most affected groups.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“The majority of abusive sexual contact incidents involved subjects aged 16-24, aligning with the typical age range of cadets and midshipmen at the military academies. Understanding the age dynamics of both victims and perpetrators can help in developing age-appropriate educational programs and interventions.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“In APY 22-23, 21 incidents of abusive sexual contact were reported, making it one of the more frequently reported forms of sexual misconduct. The persistence of these reports over the years indicates that abusive sexual contact remains a critical area of concern for military academy authorities.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15

Military Justice Outcomes and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

“By the end of APY 22-23, the military academies had processed several cases of abusive sexual contact through their judicial systems. These cases often involved complex investigations and required significant resources to ensure that justice was served and that the rights of both victims and accused individuals were protected.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15
“Of the subjects involved in abusive sexual contact cases, many faced serious disciplinary actions, including court-martial charges, nonjudicial punishment, and adverse administrative discharges. These outcomes highlight the military’s commitment to addressing and penalizing sexual misconduct within its ranks.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 16
“Abusive sexual contact cases accounted for a substantial portion of the disciplinary actions taken in APY 22-23. This includes not only the initial reports but also the follow-up investigations and the subsequent legal and administrative proceedings that aimed to uphold the standards of conduct expected within the military academies.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 16

Key Statistics on Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

“In APY 22-23, there were 21 reported incidents of abusive sexual contact, reflecting the ongoing challenges in eradicating this form of misconduct from the military academies.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15
“The majority of abusive sexual contact reports involved female victims, who made up 91 percent of the cases, while 86 percent of the subjects were male.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“Individuals aged 16-24 were the primary demographic involved in abusive sexual contact incidents, with 87 percent of victims and 72 percent of subjects falling within this age range.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“By the end of APY 22-23, several abusive sexual contact cases had been resolved through military justice proceedings, including 9 subjects facing court-martial charges.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 16
“Throughout APY 22-23, the military academies demonstrated a commitment to addressing abusive sexual contact, with 4 subjects receiving adverse administrative discharges and 1 subject receiving nonjudicial punishment.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 16

Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact in the Military

Abusive sexual contact within the military is a pervasive and deeply troubling issue that affects both men and women service members. Despite numerous initiatives and reforms, the problem persists, impacting the mental health, morale, and overall effectiveness of military personnel. This article explores the scope of abusive sexual contact in the military, its impacts, and the efforts made by the Department of Defense (DoD) to address this critical issue.

The Scope of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

Abusive sexual contact in the military encompasses a range of behaviors, including sexual harassment, assault, and rape. A 1995 U.S. Department of Defense survey revealed that 70.9% of female personnel and 35.8% of male personnel had experienced sexually harassing behaviors in the previous 12 months.
“Military personnel experiencing sexual harassment reported lower levels of overall job satisfaction and were more likely to report that they intend to leave the military.” Antecol & Cobb-Clark, 2001
The issue is not limited to harassment. Intimate partner violence (IPV) is also prevalent among military women, with 30% reporting lifetime IPV and 21.6% experiencing it during their military service.
“Lifetime prevalence of any abuse, including emotional abuse and/or stalking, was 44.3%.” Campbell et al., 2003

Impacts on Victims of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

The impacts of abusive sexual contact on military personnel are profound. Victims often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and a host of other psychological issues. Military sexual trauma (MST) has been shown to be more influential in the development of PTSD than other active duty experiences, including combat, particularly among women veterans.
“MST was negatively associated with postdeployment social support and positively associated with postdeployment perceived emotional mistreatment.” Mondragon et al., 2015
The stigma and fear of retaliation further exacerbate the problem, often preventing victims from reporting incidents. A survey indicated that 67% of women and 87% of men did not report their assaults due to fear of negative responses from the chain of command or the alleged attacker.
“Victims are commonly threatened with or actually dishonorably discharged from service.” Lohman, 2015

Efforts by the Department of Defense and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

The Department of Defense has implemented various measures to combat abusive sexual contact within the military. These include reforms to the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), enhanced training programs, and the establishment of specialized units to handle sexual assault cases.
“Despite increasing efforts to end this intraforce violence, sexual assault of women persists at levels comparable to those in the civilian population and significantly higher than that of other crimes.” Wood & Toppelberg, 2017
The DoD has also focused on preventive measures, such as bystander intervention training, which encourages service members to intervene safely in situations that could lead to sexual violence.
“Bystander training encourages and enables people to intervene safely and stop sexual violence.” Holland et al., 2016

Challenges and Future Directions of Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

Despite these efforts, significant challenges remain. The military culture, which often emphasizes toughness and conformity, can inadvertently contribute to the perpetuation of abusive behaviors. The hierarchical structure may also discourage reporting and accountability.
“The socialization of officers, combined with problematic incentive structures, undercuts efforts to end the de facto tolerance of sexual abuse by many officers.” Wood & Toppelberg, 2017
Future efforts must focus on changing the underlying cultural attitudes that enable abusive sexual contact and ensuring that all service members, regardless of rank, are held accountable for their actions. Enhanced support services for victims, including mental health care and legal assistance, are also crucial in addressing this issue effectively.

Hiring Military Defense Lawyers for Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact

Abusive sexual contact in the military is a complex issue that requires comprehensive and sustained efforts to address. The Department of Defense has made significant strides, but more needs to be done to change the military culture, improve accountability, and provide better support for victims. Ensuring the safety and well-being of military personnel is not only a matter of justice but also essential for maintaining the integrity and effectiveness of the armed forces.

Our Military Defense Lawyers Defend UCMJ Cases in the United States, Europe, & Asia

Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base, Montgomery, AL
Redstone Arsenal Army Post, Madison, AL
Fort Novosel Army Post, Dale, AL

USCG Juneau Coast Guard Base, Juneau, AK
Marine Safety Unit Valdez Coast Guard Base, Valdez, AK
ISC Kodiak Coast Guard Base, Kodiak Island, AK
Fort Greely Army Post, Fairbanks, AK
Elmendorf Air Force Base, Anchorage, AK
Eielson Air Force Base, North Pole, AK
Fort Wainwright Army Post, Fairbanks, AK
Fort Richardson Army Post, Anchorage, AK

MCAS Yuma Marine Corps Base, Yuma, AZ
Davis Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, AZ
Luke Air Force Base, Glendale, AZ
Fort Huachuca Army Post, Cochise, AZ

Fort Chaffee Army Post, Fort Smith, AR
Pine Bluff Arsenal Army Post, Jefferson County, AR
Little Rock Air Force Base, Jacksonville, AR

Petaluma Coast Guard Base, Petaluma, CA
ISC Alameda Coast Guard Base, Alameda, CA
NWS Seal Beach Navy Base, Seal Beach, CA
Naval Postgraduate School Navy Base, Monterey, CA
Naval Air Facility Navy Base, El Centro, CA
NS San Diego Navy Base, San Diego, CA
NAS Point Mugu Navy Base, Poing Mugu, CA
Point Loma Navy Base, San Diego, CA
NAS Lemoore Navy Base, Lemoore, CA
Naval Base Coronado Navy Base, San Diego, CA
NAWS China Lake Navy Base, China Lake, CA
Twentynine Palms Marine Corps BAse, Twentynine Palms, CA
MCRD San Diego Marine Corps Base, San Diego, CA
MCAS Miramar Marine Corps Base, San Diego, CA
Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, San Diego, CA
MCLB Barstow Marine Corps Base, Barstow, CA
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Lompoc, CA
Travis Air Force Base, Fairfield, CA
Los Angeles Air Force Base, El Segundo, CA
Edwards Air Force Base, Edwards, CA
Beale Air Force Base, Marysville, CA
Presidio Of Monterey Army Post, Monterey, CA
Fort Irwin Army Post, Barstow, CA

Schriever Air Force Base, El Paso, CO
Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, CO
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, CO
Buckley Air Force Base, Aurora, CO
Air Force Academy (USAFA), Colorado Springs, CO
Fort Carson Army Post, Colorado Springs, CO

US Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), New London, CT
Marine Safety Center Marine Base, Groton, CT
Naval Submarine Base New London, Groton, CT

Dover Air Force Base, Dover, DE

Naval Research Laboratory Navy Base, Washington, DC
Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, DC
Navy Yard Navy Base, Washington DC
The Pentagon, Washington, DC
Marine Barracks Marine Corps Base, Washington, DC
Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, DC
Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington, DC
Fort McNair Army Post, Washington, DC

Homestead Air Reserve Base, Miami, FL
District 7 Coast Guard Base, Miami, FL
Air Station Clearwater Coast Guard Base, Clearwater, FL
Blount Island Command Marine Corps, Jacksonville, FL
NAS Panama City Navy Base, Panama City, FL
Naval Air Warfare Center Navy Base, Orlando, FL
NAS Whiting Field Navy Base, Milton, FL
NAS Pensacola Navy Base, Pensacola, FL
NS Mayport Navy Base, Duval, FL
NAS Key West Navy Base, Key West, FL
NAS Jacksonville Navy Base, Jacksonville, FL
Training Center Corry Navy Base, Pensacola, FL
MacDill Air Force Base, Tampa, FL
Tyndall Air Force Base, Panama City, FL
Patrick Air Force Base, Brevard, FL
Hurlburt Field Air Force Base, Mary Esther, FL
Eglin Air Force Base, Valparaiso, FL

Kings Bay Submarine Navy Base, Kings Bay, GA
NAS Atlanta Navy Base, Marietta, GA
MCLB Albany Army Post, Albany, GA
Robins Air Force Base, Houston, GA
Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, GA
Hunter Army Airfield Army Post, Savannah, GA
Fort Stewart Army Post, Liberty, GA
Fort McPherson Army Post, East Point, GA
Fort Eisenhower Army Post, Augusta, GA
Fort Gillem Army Post, Forest Park, GA
Fort Moore Army Post, Columbus, GA

Wheeler Army Airfield Base, Wahiawa, Hawaii
USCG ISC Honolulu Coast Guard Base, Honolulu, HI
Station Maui Coast Guard Base, Wailuku, HI
NS Pearl Harbor Navy Base, Oahu, HI
NCTAMS PAC Navy Base, Wahiawa, HI
MCB Hawaii Marine Corps Base, Kaneohe, HI
Hickam Air Force Base, Honolulu, HI
Tripler Medical Center Army Post, Honolulu, HI
Schofield Barracks Army Post, Oahu, HI
Fort Shafter Army Post, Honolulu, HI

Mountain Home Air Force Base, Elmore, ID

Rock Island Arsenal Army Post, Arsenal Island, IL
Great Lakes Training Center Navy Base, Chicago, IL
Scott Air Force Base, St Clair, IL

United States Disciplinary Barracks, Fort Leavenworth, KS
McConnell Air Force Base, Sedgwick, KS
Fort Riley Army Post, Riley, KS
Fort Leavenworth Army Post, Leavenworth, KS

Fort Knox Army Post, Elizabethtown, KY
Fort Campbell Army Post, Clarksville, TN

Marine Corps Support Facility, New Orleans, LA
NSA New Orleans Navy Base, New Orleans, LA
Barksdale Air Force Base, Bossier City, LA
Fort Johnson Army Post, Vernon Parish, LA

NS Portsmouth Navy Base, Portsmouth, ME
NAS Brunswick Navy Base, Brunswick, ME

Coast Guard Yard, Baltimore, MD
NSA Annapolis Navy Base, Annapolis, MD
NAS Patuxent River Navy Base, Lexington Park, MD
Naval Medical Center Navy Base, Bethesda, MD
US Naval Academy (USNA), Annapolis, MD
Andrews Air Force Base, MD
Fort Meade Army Post, Odenton, MD
Fort Detrick Army Post, Frederick, MD
Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Post, Aberdeen, MD

Sector SE New England Coast Guard, Woods Hole, MA
Air Station Cape Cod Coast Guard Base, Cape Cod, MA
Hanscom Air Force Base, Bedford, MA

Camp Shelby Army Post, Hattiesburg, MS
NS Pascagoula Navy Base, Pascagoula, MS
NAS Meridian Navy Base, Meridian, MS
Keesler Air Force Base, Biloxi, MS
Gulfport Battalion Center Navy Base, Gulfport, MS

Whiteman Air Force Base, Johnson, MO
Fort Leonard Wood Army Post,Fort Leonard Wood, MO

Malmstrom Air Force Base, Cascade, MT

Offutt Air Force Base, Bellevue, NE

Creech Air Force Base, Indian Springs, NV
NAS Fallon Navy Base, Fallon, NV
Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, NV

Portsmouth Shipyard Navy Base, Portsmouth, NH

NAES Lakehurst Navy Base, Lakehurst, NJ
Mcguire Air Force Base, New Hanover, NJ
Fort Dix Army Post, Burlington, NJ

Los Alamos Demolition Army Post, North Central, NM
Kirtland Air Force Base, Bernalillo, NM
Holloman Air Force Base, Otero, NM
Cannon Air Force Base, Curry, NM
White Sands Missile Range Army Post, Otero, NM

US Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY
Fort Hamilton Army Post, Brooklyn, NY
Fort Drum Army Post, Jefferson, NY

Simmons Army Airfield, Cumberland, NC
Military Ocean Terminal Sunny Point, Brunswick County, NC
Camp Mackall Army Post, Southern Pines, NC
Air Station Elizabeth City Coast Guard Base, Elizabeth City, NC
MCAS New River Marine Corps Base, Jacksonville, NC
MCAS Cherry Point Marine Corps Base, Havelock, NC
Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base, Jacksonville NC
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, NC
Pope Air Force Base, Fayetteville, NC
Fort Liberty Army Post, Fayetteville, NC

Minot Air Force Base, Minot, ND
Grand Forks Air Force Base, Grand Forks, ND

ISC Cleveland Coast Guard Base, Cleveland, OH
Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, OH

Coast Guard Institute, Oklahoma City, OK
Vance Air Force Base, Enid, OK
Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma City, OK
Altus Air Force Base, Altus, OK
Fort Sill Army Post, Lawton, OK

Naval Support Activity, Philadelphia, PA
JRB Willow Grove Navy Base, Willow Grove, PA
Carlisle Barracks Army Post, Carlisle, PA

Fort Buchanan, San Juan, PR
Coast Guard Base San Juan, San Juan, PR

Station Point Judith USCG, Narragansett, RI
Station Castle Hill Coast Guard, Newport, RI
NS Newport Naval Base, Newport, RI

NWS Charleston Navy Base, Goose Creek, SC
Naval Hospital Charleston Navy Base, North Charleston, SC
Naval Hospital Beaufort Navy Base, Beaufort, SC
MCRD Parris Island Marine Corps Base, Port Royal, SC
MCAS Beaufort Marine Corps Base, Beaufort, SC
Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, SC
Joint Base Charleston Air Force North, Charleston, SC
Fort Jackson Army Post, Columbia, SC
NSA Capodichino
Gricignano Support Site
NSA Naples
NSA Gaeta
NAS Sigonella
Augusta Bay Port Facility
NCTS Naples

Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City, SD

Arnold Air Force Base, Tullahoma, TN
NSA Mid South Naval Base, Millington, TN

Biggs Army Air Field at Fort Bliss, El Paso, TX
NAS Kingsville Navy Base, Kingsville, TX
NAS Corpus Christi Navy Base, Flour Bluff, TX
Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls, TX
Randolph Air Force Base, Universal City, TX
Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, TX
Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX
Goodfellow Air Force Base, San Angelo, TX
Dyess Air Force Base, Abilene, TX
Brooks City Air Force Base, San Antonio, TX
Fort Sam Houston Army Post, San Antonio, TX
Fort Cavazos Army Post, Killeen, TX
Fort Bliss Army Post, El Paso, TX

Tooele Army Depot Base, Tooele, UT
Dugway Proving Ground Army Post, Tooele County, UT
Hill Air Force Base, Salt Lake City, UT

Naval Support Activity, Hampton Roads, VA
Training Center Yorktown Coast Guard Base, Yorktown, VA
Sector Hampton Roads Coast Guard Base, Portsmouth, VA
NSA Norfolk Navy Base, Norfolk, VA
Medical Center Portsmouth Navy Base, Portsmouth, VA
Joint Expeditionary Fort Story Naval Base, Little Creek, VA
NWS Yorktown Navy Base, Yorktown, VA
NAS Oceana Naval Base, Virginia Beach, VA
NS Norfolk Naval Base, Norfolk, VA
NSWC Dahlgren Naval Base, Dahlgren, VA
NAB Little Creek Navy Base, Norfolk, VA
Quantico Military Reservation Marine Corps, Quantico, VA
Henderson Hall Marine Corps Base, Arlington, VA
Langley Air Force Base, Hampton, VA
Fort Myer Army Post, Arlington, VA
Fort Monroe Army Post, Hampton, VA
Fort Gregg-Adams Army Post, Prince George, VA
Fort Eustis Army Post, Newport News, VA
Fort Belvoir Army Post, Fairfax, VA

Yakima Training Center Army Post, Yakima, WA
Naval Hospital Bremerton Naval Base, Bremerton, WA
NAS Whidbey Island Navy Base, Oak Harbor, WA
NS Everett Navy Base, Everett, WA
Navy Base Kitsap Navy Base, Silverdale, WA
McChord Air Force Base, Tacoma, WA
Fairchild Air Force Base, Spokane, WA
Fort Lewis Army Post, Pierce, WA

Fort McCoy Army Post, Tomah, WI

Francis E Warren Air Force Base, Cheyenne, WY

Asia - Pacific Europe South Korea Japan

Chievres Air Base, Belgium
Kleine Brogel Air Base, Belgium

USAG Grafenwoehr, Germany
USAG Ansbach, Germany
USAG Baumholder, Germany
USAG Garmisch, Germany
USAG Hohenfels, Germany
USAG Kaiserslautern, Germany
USAG Stuttgart, Germany
USAG Vilseck, Germany
USAG Wiesbaden, Germany
Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany
Büchel Air Base, Germany
NATO Air Base Geilenkirchen, Germany
Ramstein Air Base, Germany
Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany

RAF Alconbury, Cambridgeshire, UK
RAF Croughton, Northamptonshire, UK
RAF Fairford, Gloucestershire, UK
RAF Feltwell, Norfolk, UK
RAF Fylingdales, North York Moors, UK
RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom
RAF Menwith Hill, North Yorkshire, UK
RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK
RAF Molesworth, Cambridgeshire, UK
RAF Welford, Berkshire, UK

NSA Souda Bay, Greece

Papa Air Base, Hungary

Naval Air Station Keflavík, Iceland

USAG Vicenza, Italy
Camp Darby, Italy
Caserma Ederle, Italy
NSA Capodichino
Gricignano Support Site
NSA Naples, Italy
NSA Gaeta, Italy
NAS Sigonella, Italy
NCTS Naples, Italy
Aviano Air Base, Italy
Ghedi Air Base, Italy
Sigonella Naval Air Station, Italy

Volkel Air Base, Netherlands

Stavanger Air Station, Norway

U.S. Army Garrison, Poland
Camp Kosciuszko, Poland
33rd Air Base, Powidz, Poland
Naval Support Facility Redzikowo, Poland
Łask Air Base, Poland

Lajes Field, Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal

Naval Support Facility Deveselu, Romania
Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base, Romania
Câmpia Turzii Air Base, Romania

Naval Station Rota Spain, Spain
Morón Air Base, Spain

Ankara Support Facility, Turkey
Incirlik Air Base, Turkey
Izmir Air Station, Turkey

USAG Japan, Camp Zama
USAG Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan
NAF Atsugi, Japan
NSF Kamiseya, Japan
NAF Misawa, Japan
CFA Okinawa, Japan
CFA Sasebo, Sasebo, Japan
CFA Yokosuka, Yokosuka
Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan
Misawa Air Base, Japan
Yokota Air Base, Japan
Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Okinawa, Japan
Camp McTureous, Okinawa, Japan
Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan
Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan
Camp Fuji, Japan
Camp Gonsalves, Okinawa, Japan
Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan
United States Fleet Activities Yokosuka, Japan
Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Japan
Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan
Misawa Air Base, Japan
Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan
Camp Kinser, Japan
US Fleet Activities Saesebo, Japan
Yokota Air Base, Japan
Yontan Airfield, Japan

Camp Humphreys, South Korea
Yongsan,  SouthKorea (Seoul, Korea)
USAG Yongsan, South Korea
Camp Casey, South Korea
Camp Red Cloud, Korea
Kunsan Air Base, South Korea
Osan Air Base, South Korea

 
 
Skip to content