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Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

Facing a court-martial, UCMJ action, Administrative Separation Board, or other Adverse Administrative Action for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years? Call our experienced military defense lawyers at 1-800-921-8607 for a free consultation.

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Note: This law applies only to Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years?

Article 120B Ucmj Rape By Force Of A Child Who Has Attained The Age Of 12 Years

Article 120b of the UCMJ addresses the crime of raping a child who has attained the age of 12 years using force. This severe offense carries harsh penalties, including lengthy mandatory sentences, dishonorable discharge, and lifelong registration as a sex offender. The prosecution does not need to prove that the accused knew the victim’s age, which simplifies the case for the prosecution. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

Being accused of this crime can have devastating consequences, impacting one’s military career, reputation, and future opportunities. To navigate these serious charges effectively, seeking assistance from the best military defense lawyers is crucial. Experienced Article 120 UCMJ lawyers are essential for developing a strong defense strategy, scrutinizing evidence, and protecting the accused’s rights throughout the court-martial process.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years, vary depending on the date of the offense.

In the military, the crime of Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years falls under the general offense category of Rape of a Child. It is one of the most serious offenses under the UCMJ and carries significant mandatory punishments. Offenses committed after December 27, 2023, carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence ranging from 240-480 months (20 to 40 years) and a mandatory Dishonorable Discharge or Dismissal. If convicted, the defendant must register as a Federal and State sex offender.

What are the Elements of Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years?

  1. That (state the time and place alleged), the accused committed (a) sexual  act(s) upon (state name of the alleged victim) by (state the alleged sexual act); and
  2. That the accused did so by using force against (state the name of the alleged victim or other person against whom force was allegedly used), to wit: (state the force alleged);
  3. That at the time of the sexual act (state the name of the alleged victim) had attained the age of 12 years but had not attained the age of 16 years.

What are the Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Offenses?

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years?

For Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

For Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years is a Category 5 Offense
  • Mandatory confinement ranges from 240-480 months (20 to 40 years)
  • A Dishonorable Discharge or a Dismissal is a mandatory minimum sentence for this offense.
  • Federal Felony Conviction
  • 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 Specification for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

In that SSG Nick Ross, US Army, 3rd Infantry Division, did, Fort Stewart, Georgia, on or about 23 August 2025, commit a sexual act upon Jane Victim, a child who had attained the age of 12 years but had not attained the age of 16 years, by penetrating Jane Victim’s mouth with SSG Nick Ross’s penis, with an intent to abuse Jane Victim by using force against Jane Victim, to wit: holding her down in a bed and penetrating her mouth with his penis.

Model Specification for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about_________ , commit a sexual act upon ________, a child who had attained the age of 12 years but had not attained the age of 16 years, by [penetrating _______’s (vulva) (anus) (mouth) with ________’s penis] [causing contact between _______’s mouth and _______’s (penis) (vulva) (scrotum) (anus)] [penetrating ________’s (vulva) (penis) (anus) with (________’s body part) (an object) to wit: _____, with an intent to [(abuse) (humiliate) (harass) (degrade) _______] [(arouse) (gratify) the sexual desire of ________]] [intentionally touching, not through the clothing, the genitalia of _________, with an intent to [(abuse) (humiliate) (harass) (degrade) _______] [(arouse) (gratify) the sexual desire of ________]] by [using force against _________, to wit: _____________].

What are the Definitions for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years?

“Sexual act” means: (A) the penetration, however slight, of the penis into the vulva or anus or mouth; (B) contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, scrotum, or anus; (C) the penetration, however slight, of the vulva or penis or anus of another by any part of the body or any object, with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, or degrade any person or to arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person; or (D) the intentional touching, not through the clothing, of the genitalia of another person who has not attained the age of 16 years with an intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or arouse or gratify the sexual desire of any person.

“Child” means any person who has not attained the age of 16 years.

The prosecution is not required to prove the accused knew the age of (state the name of the alleged victim) at the time the alleged sexual act(s) occurred.

Sexual Terms in Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Cases

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.”

Marriage. Marriage is not a defense for Rape of a Child under Article 120b UCMJ.

What is Force in Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Cases

By force. When the sexual act is alleged by force, include the following instruction:

“Force” means the use of a weapon; the use of such physical strength or violence as is sufficient to overcome, restrain or injure a child; or inflicting physical harm.

In the case of a parent-child or similar relationship, the use or abuse of parental or similar authority is sufficient to constitute the use of force.

The force which caused the victim to engage in the sexual act need not have been applied by the accused to the victim. It is sufficient if the accused applied such force to any person, which thereby caused the victim to engage in the sexual act.)

Evidence of consent in Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Cases

Generally, the elements of an Article 120b(a)(2) offense require the accused to have committed sexual conduct “by” a certain method. Stated another way, “by” means the sexual conduct occurred because of that method. Consent logically precludes that causal link; when the alleged victim consented, the sexual conduct occurred because of the consent, not because of the charged method.

Accordingly, if the alleged offense is Rape of a Child who has attained the age of 12 years by using force or threatening or placing the child in fear, evidence that the alleged victim consented to the sexual conduct at issue 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.

This instruction for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years is not applicable where the alleged offense is Rape of a Child who has attained the age of 12 years by rendering the child unconscious or administering a drug to the child. The judge must carefully evaluate the evidence presented by both sides in such cases to determine the applicability of the following instruction.

Reasonable Doubt in Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Cases

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).

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 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

A military member convicted of Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years, must register as a sex offender. A registered sex offender may suffer the following collateral consequences:
  • Denied housing
  • Loss of family
  • Isolation
  • No educational opportunities
  • Unemployable
  • Physical assault
  • Increased homelessness
  • Harassment
  • Financial hardship
  • Stigmatization
  • The decline in mental health
  • No internet access
  • Deterioration of social bonds
  • Loss of residency
  • Deterioration of social bonds
  • Difficulty finding employment
  • Difficulty finding housing
  • Difficulty with relationships
  • Social disgrace and humiliation
  • Loss of friends
  • Loss of custody of children
  • Lack of privacy

Potential Collateral Consequences of a Federal Conviction

  • Employment will be severely limited (many employers won’t hire a convict)
  • Inability to enroll in college, university, or trade school
  • Loss of GI Bill
  • Loss of military career
  • Loss of retirement benefits.
  • Loss of VA benefits.
  • Loss of medical benefits.
  • Loss of spouse, family members, and friends
  • Loss of income while in jail
  • Mental and physical suffering before and after prison
  • Ineligibility for public benefits, such as food stamps
  • Ineligibility for government-sponsored student loans and grants;
  • Restrictions on certain types of employment or occupational licenses;
  • Ineligibility to provide foster care to minor family members
  • Prohibitions on working with children
  • Loss of professional license or certification
  • Limitations on adoption or foster care

Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Military Defense Lawyers

Given the complexities of military law and the severity of the potential punishments, having skilled legal representation can significantly affect the case outcome. The best military defense lawyers will work tirelessly to challenge procedural errors, question the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence, and aim for the most favorable resolution.

Suppose you are facing accusations under Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years. In that case, it is imperative to consult with knowledgeable Article 120 UCMJ lawyers to defend your rights and future.

Further Legal Considerations for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

Understanding the full scope of Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years 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 has 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 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

The repercussions of a conviction under Article 120b(c) 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 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

Accessing available resources and support is crucial for those facing charges under Article 120b(c) 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.

Court Martial Lawyers for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Force of a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

Navigating the complexities of Article 120b(c) 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 120b(c), 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.

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