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Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years? 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 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years?

Article 120B Ucmj Rape Of A Child Who Has Not Attained The Age Of 12 YearsArticle 120b of the UCMJ covers the crime of raping a child under the age of 12, considered one of the most severe offenses in military law. This article outlines the harsh penalties associated with such charges, including mandatory minimum sentences, dishonorable discharge, and lifelong registration as a sex offender. These penalties highlight the gravity of the crime and the military’s commitment to protecting children.

Convictions under Article 120b do not require the prosecution to prove that the accused knew the victim’s age, which simplifies the prosecution’s case but complicates the defense. The lifelong consequences of a conviction extend beyond legal penalties, affecting housing, employment opportunities, and social relationships due to the stigma of being labeled a sex offender. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years, vary depending on the date of the offense
. In the military, the crime of Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 of a Child Who Has Not 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 at the time of the sexual act (state the name of the alleged victim) had not attained the age of 12 years. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

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

What are the Maximum Punishments for Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years?

For Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years offenses committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years

In that MAJ Dennis Sullivan, US Army, 1st Infantry Regiment, did, Fort Lewis, Washington, on or about 1 January 2025, commit a sexual act upon Jane Victim, a child who had not attained the age of 12 years, by penetrating Jane Victim’s vulva with MAJ Dennis Sullivan’s penis, with an intent to arouse the sexual desire of  MAJ Dennis Sullivan.

Model Specification for Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 not attained the age of 12 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 ________]] [intentionally touching, not through the clothing, the genitalia of _________, with an intent to [(abuse) (humiliate) (harass) (degrade) _______] [(arouse) (gratify) the sexual desire ________]].

What are the Definitions for Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.)

What is a Child Under Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years

“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 and Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years. Marriage is not a defense for Rape of a Child under Article 120b UCMJ.

Evidence of consent in Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 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.

Instructing the Jury in Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years

A military member convicted of Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not 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 of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years Military Defense Lawyers

Article 120B Ucmj Rape Of A Child Court Martial AttorneysFor those accused of this crime, seeking immediate legal assistance from the best military defense lawyers is crucial. Experienced Article 120 UCMJ lawyers can provide a robust defense by scrutinizing the evidence, questioning the reliability of testimonies, and ensuring that the accused’s rights are upheld throughout the legal process. These lawyers understand the intricacies of military law and can navigate the complexities of court-martial procedures.

Due to the severe consequences, an effective defense strategy is vital in these cases. The best military defense lawyers can challenge procedural errors, examine the credibility of the prosecution’s evidence, and work tirelessly to achieve the most favorable outcome for their clients. Their goal is to ensure a fair trial, protect the accused’s rights, and mitigate the life-altering impacts of a conviction.

Court Martial Lawyers for Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years

Anyone facing accusations under Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years 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.

If you are suspected or accused of Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child Who Has Not Attained the Age of 12 Years, speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your case.

Rape of a Child Reporting Data on Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child

“In APY 22-23, there were several reports of rape involving child victims within military families, highlighting the severity of sexual misconduct in the community.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 10
“The reports of child rape were part of the broader category of sexual misconduct that remained a critical concern in the military community.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 8

Demographics and Trends on Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child

“Most victims in investigations of child rape incidents are female, consistent with trends observed in other forms of sexual misconduct.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“Child rape incidents primarily involved subjects aged 16-24, who represent a significant demographic within the military community.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“Rape of a child reports saw an alarming increase in APY 22-23, reflecting a growing need for stringent preventive measures.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 9
“The majority of child rape victims were identified through unrestricted reports, indicating a willingness among some victims to come forward despite the sensitive nature of the crime.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 10

Military Justice Outcomes of Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child

“By the end of APY 22-23, multiple cases of child rape had progressed to military justice proceedings, reflecting the serious nature of these offenses.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15
Child rape cases resulted in various disciplinary actions, including court-martial charges, nonjudicial punishment, and administrative discharges. Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 16
“Several perpetrators of child rape received the most severe penalties under military law, underscoring the military’s zero-tolerance policy towards such heinous crimes.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 16
“In APY 22-23, the majority of court-martial charges preferred for sexual misconduct were related to child rape cases, indicating a focused judicial response to this issue.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15

Key Statistics on Article 120b UCMJ Rape of a Child

“In APY 22-23, the Department reported a concerning number of child rape cases, with incidents involving military personnel and their families.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 10
“The majority of child rape victims were females, consistent with the demographic trends observed in other forms of sexual misconduct.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“The age group 16-24 accounts for a significant portion of subjects in child rape cases, highlighting the need for targeted interventions.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 18
“In APY 22-23, there was an increase in unrestricted reports of child rape, reflecting a potential rise in reporting due to increased awareness and support systems.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 10
“By the end of APY 22-23, child rape cases had led to multiple court-martial charges, with significant penalties imposed on the perpetrators.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15
“Child rape cases represented a notable portion of the sexual misconduct cases handled by the military justice system in APY 22-23.” Statistical Data on Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment APY22-23, p. 15
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