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One Drink Means No Consent?

US Air Force Airman Acquitted of UCMJ Article 120s

U.S. v. Air Force E-3 – McGuire AFB, New Jersey

Location: McGuire AFB, New Jersey
Accused’s Rank: US Air Force E-3
Allegations:  Article 120 UCMJ Aggravated Sexual Assault and Article 120 UCMJ Abusive Sexual Contact
Max Punishment: 31 years in prison, Dishonorable Discharge, Sex Offender Registration

Court Martial Case Summary:

Air Force military defense attorneysOur client, an Air Force E-3 stationed at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, was accused of two serious Article 120 offenses: aggravated sexual assault and wrongful sexual contact. Additionally, he faced charges of underage drinking, putting him at risk of a potential 31-year prison sentence.

The allegations stemmed from an incident where the client was accused of entering a bathroom where a female airman was allegedly unconscious after vomiting and then sexually assaulting her. Two Security Forces police officers claimed to have witnessed the incident and intervened. To bolster their case, Air Force OSI agents conducted a sting operation. They had the alleged victim call the accused to elicit a confession, which resulted in a recorded call containing several incriminating statements and apologies from the accused, played later for the jury.

An experienced military defense lawyer, Michael Waddington, took on the challenge of defending our client. The trial, held before an enlisted jury, was complicated by the fact that the McGuire AFB SARC (Sexual Assault Response Coordinator) had conducted classes for all 15 jurors, teaching them that any alcohol consumption by a female rendered her unable to consent to sexual relations. Most jurors indicated that they believed a girl who vomits due to alcohol cannot consent.

Despite these challenges, our team of skilled court martial lawyers exposed significant issues with the prosecution’s case. The Security Forces police officers were discredited as liars and criminals who perjured themselves on the stand. Evidence revealed they had severely beaten our client the night of the alleged assault because he was caught making out with one of the officers’ girlfriends. Moreover, the alleged victim was shown to be a liar, drama queen, and drug and alcohol addict who also participated in the beating and subsequent cover-up.


Not Guilty of all sexual assault charges.

Guilty of underage drinking.


•No jail time

•No discharge

•No loss of rank

•Reprimand and forfeiture of $200 per month for four months

This case underscores the expertise and dedication of our court martial lawyers at Gonzalez & Waddington in defending the rights of military personnel against serious allegations.

Call 1-800-921-8607 to speak with one of our court martial defense lawyers.

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