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

Note: This law applies only to Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious 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 Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years?

Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 YearsArticle 120b of the UCMJ addresses the severe offense of raping a child aged 12 or older by rendering them unconscious. This charge involves significant penalties, including mandatory minimum sentences, dishonorable discharge, and lifelong registration as a sex offender. The prosecution doesn’t need to prove that the accused knew the victim’s age, simplifying their case.

Given the gravity of these charges, the accused must seek immediate legal help from the best military defense lawyers. Skilled Article 120 UCMJ lawyers can navigate the complexities of military law, scrutinize evidence, and protect the accused’s rights, ensuring a fair trial and mitigating the life-altering impacts of a conviction.

Anyone facing accusations under Article 120b UCMJ must prioritize finding experienced Article 120 UCMJ lawyers. The seriousness of the charges and the potential lifelong repercussions make it essential to have skilled legal representation to navigate the military justice system and defend against these severe allegations.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious 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 Rendering Unconscious 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 Rendering Unconscious 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 rendering (state the name of the alleged victim) unconscious; and

  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 Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years?

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

  • Life without eligibility
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • A Dishonorable Discharge or a dismissal is a mandatory minimum sentence for this offense.
  • Federal Felony Conviction
  • Registration as a State & Federal Sex Offender

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

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious 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 Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

In that COL Pedro Gonsalves, US Army, 1st Supply Battalion, did, Fort Lewis, Washington, on or about 14 March 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 causing contact between Jane Victim’s mouth and COL Pedro Gonsalves’s scrotum, with an intent to gratify) the sexual desire of COL Pedro Gonsalves, by rendering Jane Victim unconscious by drugging her with a tranquilizer.

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

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did (at/on board—location), on or about _____ 20__, 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 rendering __________ unconscious by ___________________.

What are the Definitions for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious 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.

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.

Evidence of Consent in an Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Case

Generally, the elements of Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years 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.

Consent in Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Cases

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 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.

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.

Burden in Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years Cases

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 Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

A military member convicted of Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious 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 for Article 120b UCMJ Rape by Rendering Unconscious a Child Who Has Attained the Age of 12 Years

  • 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
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