Gonzalez & Waddington – Attorneys at Law

Military Law News Network – Dec 1, 2013 – Military Sexual Assaults Allegedly Jump 46 Percent This Year – What is going on? JAG Lawyers Have Job Security with a new $113 million sexual assault prosecution program.

Military sexual assault commissioners urge officials not to get bogged down by UCMJ changes

Military Sexual Assaults Jump 46% This Year – JAG Lawyers Have Job Security as Court Martials Rise

In this episode, veteran court-martial attorneys Michael Waddington and Tim Bilecki discuss news reports “that U.S. military sexual assaults surged 46 percent this year, the Pentagon said, crediting the increase to “victim confidence in our response system.” The number of sexual-assault complaints within the ranks was 3,553 between January and September, up from 2,434 reports in the same period last year, the Pentagon said.
“We assess this as a sign of victim confidence in our response system,” Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Col. Catherine Wilkinson told USA Today. A Defense Department slide highlighting the figures was less definitive. It said the increase in assault reports “may reflect a change in victim confidence in Department of Defense response systems.”

All U.S. service branches reported increases in sexual assault reports, the Pentagon said. The service branches are the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.”




Mike:              Reports of sexual assault in the military have jumped 46% in 2013.  One other big number that came in, General Odierno released a study that showed that to set up a separate prosecution for sexual assault cases, you’re looking at a whopping $113 million a year.  Which includes salaries for up to 600 attorneys and support staff, that is if the military takes sexual assault prosecutions out of the chain of command.

Mike:              This is Michael Waddington with the Military Law News Network and today I’m joined with Timothy Bilecki.  Tim, what are your thoughts on this 46% increase in reports in 2013 alone?

Tim:                Mike it’s wild, 46% increase?  Seriously 46% increase, are you telling me that in the military we have added nearly 50% of individuals who now are sexually assaulting and raping women?  It’s ludicrous, it’s ridiculous Mike.  What it shows is that we over prosecuting the hell out of sexual assaults and individuals are getting the message.  That if you want to get out of the military, you want an honorable discharge, you want to be coddled, make an allegation of sexual assault.  Because we’ll believe you, no matter how ridiculous it is.

I find it absurd and obscene to think that in the military we have 50%, nearly 50% more rapists in the military in 2003 than 2012.  These numbers speak for themselves.  They’re ridiculous Mike.  I don’t buy it, I don’t believe the hype, it shows that we’re over prosecuting service members and that there are false allegations of sexual assault being made right and left.  These numbers should be screaming out to commanders and Congresspeople, that’s saying something is wrong here.  No other society in history that I am aware of and I know you are also a scholar of history Mike; has shown an increase in a crime.  Let it be a sexual assault or any crime of violence, saying increasing it 50% in 12 months.  Think about that just for a second and how ridiculous that is.

That’s my [inaudible 00:02:49] comment Mike.

Mike:              Tim, I completely agree with you.  That is a shocking increase in sexual assault reports and you kind have to wonder what’s behind that?  Well, possibly what’s behind that is, is this army of victim advocates that are throughout the world now, teaching people that if you have one beer, we’ve been talking about this before.  If you have one beer and one drink and you do something you regret.  Or the new thing is this; if you have one beer or one drink, or two beers or two drinks and you make a ‘bad decision’ that you wouldn’t possibly have made if you were sober, then you are a victim of sexual assault.

You know what, I had that in a case that I did this week at Norfolk Navy Base, where one of the government star witnesses kept talking about how the girl, the alleged victim had a couple of drinks.  After she had a couple of drinks she was making what he considered to be not good decisions, decisions that she wouldn’t have made if she was sober and therefore she could not consent.  That was his analysis that he was telling the investigating officer, which is ludicrous.  It turns out this person doesn’t drink at all and has never really been around drunk people.

So my point is that you take normal behavior between consenting adults and you educate people and tell them that behavior if you regret what you did or you feel bad about it, or you wish you didn’t do it; it’s not your fault.  You’re a victim, it’s not your fault if you did something you regretted because, you really wouldn’t have done that if the circumstances would have been different.  You’re a victim and by the way, if you’re a victim you can get an honorable discharge, you’re going to get full disability because you’ve got PTSD now and because of this traumatic event.  You’re can change duty stations, you can get out of deployment, you can be set for the rest of your life, right now if you make an allegation, it could be the biggest lie false allegation.

Or you could just say, I think I’ve been assaulted, that’s enough to start an investigation at Court Marshall and that’s enough to get you PTSD diagnosis and benefits for life.  We see it happening all the time.

Tim:                I want to bring something up you said.  I just did a trial two weeks ago out in Korea.  It was sexual assault trial and we were doing our jury selection and notice voir dire and I believe two or three members of 12 that sat on that jury, that said they had specific training.  That if you have one drink, female has one drink they cannot consent.  These were senior officers; senior enlisted who’re buying into it.  Who said they agreed with it and this was in the army, what the army was teaching.  So if you have one drink, one drop of alcohol you can’t consent.

Now as I’m picking the jury I’m using examples saying, what if I go out to Morton’s with my wife and I have glass of wine and afterwards we have sex.  She just has a glass of wine, but I guess I’ve successfully then raped my spouse because we had a glass of wine together.  But they’re buying it and they believe this and I don’t know; I’m asking where’s the common sense coming in?  So senior officers and senior enlisters are believing this, what’s happening at the lower level with the junior enlisted, who are getting told week after week after week, one drink equals no consent.

It’s crazy Mike.  So the question becomes if a female drinks and a male soldier drinks why isn’t it that female is charged with sexual assault because the male soldier can’t consent as well.  That just kind of goes to logic if we go down this approach, but it doesn’t happen that way.

So going back to these ridiculous numbers, the ridiculous numbers are hey, perhaps if you consider a sexual assault  two people having sex after having a glass of wine together, yes then maybe 46% more people have had sex after having a glass of wine or having a drink.  But that’s not sexual assault Mike, you know that and I know that.  Anyone who’s been through the system knows that.

If you haven’t been through system, you haven’t gone and seen a Court Marshall and seen the ridiculous facts that are getting taking to trial, then you don’t know what you’re talking about it.  This notion of 46% more sexual assaults have occurred in the military is ludicrous.

Mike:              Tim, we’re looking at a complete double standard.  The law is applied differently in the military right now, by very chauvinistic leaders who feel that they have to protect every single … if you’re a female then you’re not equal to a male.  This is how a lot of these people think.  We need to protect you, you’re young ladies, you can’t make decisions for yourself.  You can’t have a drink of alcohol; you can’t choose to have sex.  We all know that women consent to have sex all the time; there are billions of people on this planet.

If this idea that just because you’re female you can’t drink, you can’t choose to have sex, you can’t enjoy sex.  You can’t have multiple sexual partners like many people in the military … many females in the military have multiple consensual partners, sexual partners.

But that’s not the way that the leadership sees it.  Because they see, a lot of these leaders see women as people that need to be protected.  Which is not true, you know everybody deserves the right to not be assaulted obviously.  But this idea that you have to go around protecting people because they’re inferior or they’re not as strong. I think is an insult to women in general.

Tim:                I couldn’t agree with you Mike, it’s insulting.  Not only is it insulting to women in general, it should be insulting to the general public to say, we are spending the limited money and resources on sexual assault and they’re growing and growing all the time in military.  But would they take these cases to trial, that should never go to trial and there are sexual assault victims out there.  I said that from the beginning, the military does have people who sexual assault people.  It’s not at the numbers that they claim, but the military needs to focus its time, its effort and its resources on prosecuting those who actually have committed sexual assault.

Or there’s good evidence, there’s facts that should go to trial and not take every single case, where you had one glass of wine, one beer in the villa in Korea, made a decision to have sex and now it’s going to trial.  It is a travesty, it’s an injustice, it’s a waste of resources and the quota rates get higher and higher and higher and we don’t understand why.

Mike I want to go back to something you said earlier about the money.  You’ve been saying this for months Mike, but this is driven by money.  It’s driven by job security, a lot of it is.  These victim advocates, these individuals who talk and they teach on sexual assault.  The ones who … the hypocrites who on a Friday afternoon will give a sharp training class saying one drink of alcohol equals no consent.  Probably go home, have a drink and have sex with their husbands or their wives, they need jobs.  Without sexual assaults, without prosecutions they don’t have job.

A lot of this is self perpetrated, because of the need for job security that they get paid.  They need to go preach that sexual assaults occur, that one drink equals no consent and it’s financial motivated for themselves.  You’ve been saying this for a long time, they have a lot of critics of yourself for saying that, but I completely agree with you Mike.  So dam the critics because this is what’s happening day in and day out in the trenches.

Mike:              Tim, this is interesting that … you know I have come under a lot of attacks.  When I travel round the world and go to these military bases, it’s not uncommon for me to go in to the court room and the SJ … and not every time because some of them are professional.  But many times I go in the court room and all of the victim advocates, the SJ staff, some of the prosecutors and all their little paparazzi, are literally staring me down, talking trash on me.  They’ve seen a lot of these videos, they’ve watched a lot of the videos we’ve done and they hate us.  Okay, because we speak what we believe to be truth and what I think is the truth.

Now going back to what I was saying about money; as the military draws down our government is on the verge of … well it shut down a month ago and couldn’t pay their employees.  They’re going broke, what they’re doing is they’re scaling down the military, there are people losing jobs.  Now General Odierno came out with this, released this study and commented on it.  Where this new program that all these victim advocates are pushing for, is going to create 600 positions, 600 lawyer jobs around the world.  That also includes paralegal and other staff and what are those 600 lawyers, in this new independent program going to run?

Their original estimate is $113 additional million a year.  That’s $113 million in legal salaries and support salaries. That’s a lot of money for creating a new system when we already have this system in place.  That’s one of the reasons that the general … aside from eroding good order and discipline and the power they command.  That’s one of the reasons that the General Odierno is against taking and creating this new system.

Tim let me tell you something, I was at Mountain Home Air Force Base two months ago, two and half months ago doing a Court Marshall.  There were no jets in the sky except for the jets; I believe it was the Singapore government’s fighter jets.  All of the American jets were grounded, now is this a Ford air base that’s up in the North West United States, this is the tip of the spear end of a soviet invasion or it’s North Korean air invasion.  We didn’t have gas for our planes, because we had no money.

That’s scary to me as a US citizen and most people wouldn’t know that unless they were there.  All jets grounded, that’s going on around the world, not just with jets being grounded, tanks being kept in the tank yard, no gas for Humvee’s, no bullets for our weapons.  Now they want to take $113 additional million to create 600 new lawyer jobs.  You cannot tell me that this isn’t about creating jobs.

It’s creating jobs for lawyers Tim; it’s not creating jobs for other people.  They’re actually firing a ton of people out of the military right now, using all sorts of shady tactics.  But the lawyers are the ones behind that as well, so we have the lawyers creating jobs for lawyers and then getting rid of the rest of the military.  What we’re going to have in the next ten years?  An army of nothing but lawyers it seems to me and victims.

Tim:                Mike, you raise a great point.  I saw this a couple of weeks ago when I was out in Korea again.  I was talking to soldiers out there, who were saying because of the budget restrictions they’re not training.  That they don’t have money to do anything, that there’s not training, they can’t do the majority of their mission because there’s no money.  I’m hearing that from soldiers on the ground there and at the same time the government flew in over two dozen; I believe it was nearly two dozen witnesses they flew in from around the world to take on this garbage sexual assault case.  A case that probably should never have gone to trial, but they’re spending nearly $100,000 of money when they don’t have enough money for the troops to train.

There was one instance we caught a CID agent perjuring herself on the witness stand.  She perjured herself, there’s no question about it.  We had witnesses who would basically say that she perjured herself.  In order to overcome that, the government flew out one of her friends who was also CID agent from the mainland at probably a cost of nearly $10,000, I’m estimating here.  Probably $10,000, got her on plane the next day, put her up on TDY to testify for 5 minutes to say that her friend, another CID agent had a reputation for truthfulness.

I’m watching my tax payer dollars, your tax payer dollars, America’s tax payer dollars get pissed away in these trials.  But the troop’s right down the street, also on base don’t have the money they need to train.  This is about money, it’s a waste of resources, we need to get back to taking the cases that actually merit trial on sexual assault.  Take those cases to trial, zealously advocate for them and have some discretion, because it’s just there in the military anymore.  People are blindly prosecuting these cases, blindly throwing the money the government doesn’t have and yet they wonder why they can’t win trials.

Mike:              Tim, I’m going to one up you there buddy.  I was at Travis Air Force Base in California just last week.  I was doing a special Court Marshall jury trial and the key evidence in that case was some photographs okay.  Well guess what, the government could not afford, according to the people in the JAG office, could not afford a color printer.  What’s a color printer going to cost, $200 to $300, they couldn’t afford a color printer because of budget cuts.

However, they flew two civilian expert witnesses, who probably charged about $20,000 apiece, plus travel including one for us.  Neither one of the witnesses testified, so that’s $40,000 plus probably another $5,000 in travel.  That’s $45,000 for two civilian psychologists to sit and court.  Then they also flew out two additional expert witnesses that had to do with emergency room techniques and things like that and child abuse, not even one of them testified, they just sat there.

In the end it was a full acquittal, a full not guilty verdict.  The problem was because they couldn’t afford a color printer they had to take some other money and go to Kinko’s and do it that way and it ended up costing them $70 to make these photographs at Kinko’s and it turned out that the photographs were all jacked up.  The shadows were all mixed up and they were basically useless to the panel.

Anyway, I would say in that case alone I saw; aside from the whole court-martial being a waste.  But in that case alone we’re looking at about $50,000 in expert witness fees when not a single one of those witnesses, fees, and expenses … not a single one of those witnesses testified.

Tim:                Mike, money’s easy to spend when it’s not yours and there really should be some oversight in these JAG offices and these trial councils and these SVP’s and SJ’s and how they’re spending their money.  Like I said money’s really easy to spend when it’s not yours.  The fact that we are spending money on these garbage sexual assault cases when troops don’t have money to train it’s beyond me.  It just shows how ridiculous system has gotten.

Mike:              Tim, I want to say something.  If this bill passes and they do set up a new prosecutor’s office I think that, I predict that Court Marshalls are going to go through the roof.  You’re going to see two to three times as many Court Marshalls.  The reason is, if you set up in an office with 600 lawyers and professional legal staff, allocate $113 million and you know they’re going to spend much more $113 million if they set this up.  It’s going to always go over budget, you need business.

They’re going to need business to justify those 600 jobs and who’s going to suffer?  The taxpayers, but most importantly the people that are being falsely accused of sexual assault and being railroaded are going to really suffer.  As well as people weren’t really victims, that are being told, no you’re victim you have to go through this.  That’s a very traumatic process, when someone really wasn’t a victim, to force them into a Court Marshall.  To be publicly humiliated and then they get a not guilty verdict.  So there’s more than one victim here and if this thing goes forward the way that they have it planned.

Tim:                I just hope that General Odierno has his way and this doesn’t go forward.  Because like I said, if you fund it you’ve got to have the cases to justify it.  So we’re just going to see an explosion in the Court Marshall business and sexual assault, more than we’re even seeing now.  I really hope that common sense does prevail and this doesn’t go forward.  I’m just hoping right now, I have simple needs, simple hopes that garbage cases don’t go forward.  The innocent services members aren’t charged and eventually convicted.

I’m asking for that I haven’t seen that yet, but I’m hoping that this ridiculous bill does not pass, because if they do it Mike, they’re going to have to justify it.  The only way they can justify it is with more Court Marshall cases and more sexual assault charges.

To be determined, we’ll see.  But I certainly hope this doesn’t go forward because once again it’s all about the money, not about the victims.

But that’s all the time we have for this particular episode of the Military Law News Network.  Keep your comments coming in; we love to hear from you.  We love to hear what topics that you want to hear about and we certainly like your comments, criticisms and however you feel on them and your view certainly is important.

So from Mike Waddington and Tim Bilecki on the Military Law News Network, take care.

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