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Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

Note: This law applies only to Article 120 UCMJ Rape offenses committed on and after 1 January 2019.

What is Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ?

Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UcmjRape by first rendering unconscious under Article 120 UCMJ is a serious offense that involves rendering a victim unconscious before committing a sexual act. This offense carries severe penalties, including mandatory confinement, dishonorable discharge, and mandatory registration as a sex offender. The gravity of these charges makes it imperative for the accused to seek legal representation from the best military defense lawyers possible.

Experienced Article 120 UCMJ lawyers understand the complexities of military law and can navigate the nuances of the legal process to protect the accused’s rights. They can scrutinize evidence, challenge the prosecution’s case, and develop a robust defense strategy. Facing such serious charges alone can be overwhelming, but having skilled legal representation significantly increases the chances of a favorable outcome.

Consulting with the best military defense lawyers is crucial for those accused to ensure a fair trial and the best possible defense. The lawyers at Gonzalez & Waddington are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal support to service members facing these serious allegations.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ vary depending on the date of the offense.

In the military, the crime of Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ falls under the general offense category of Rape. It is one of the more serious offenses under the UCMJ and carries significant mandatory punishments. Offenses committed after December 27, 2023, carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 to 20 years and a dishonorable discharge. If convicted, the defendant must register as a Federal and State sex offender.

What are the Rape Offenses Under Article 120 UCMJ?

What are the Maximum Punishments for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ?

For Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ offenses committed between 1 January 2019 and 27 December 2023:

  • Life without eligibility for parole
  • Total Forfeitures
  • Reduction to E-1
  • A Dishonorable Discharge or a Dismissal is a mandatory minimum sentence for this offense.
  • Note: You must Register as a State & Federal Sex Offender
  • Federal Felony Conviction

For Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ offenses committed after 27 December 2023

  • Under the Sentencing Parameters, Rape by Force, Article 120 UCMJ is a Category 4 Offense
  • Mandatory confinement ranges from 120-240 months (between 10 to 20 years)
  • A Dishonorable Discharge or a Dismissal is a mandatory minimum sentence for this offense.
  • Note: You must Register 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.
  • Federal Felony Conviction

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 Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

A military member convicted of Rape By First Rendering Unconscious, Article 120 UCMJ, 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

Elements of Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ:

  1. That at or near (location), on or about (date), the accused committed a sexual act upon (victim) by (state the alleged sexual act); and
  2. That the accused did so by first rendering (victim) unconscious.

Sample Model Specification: Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

In that SGT Ronald Don, 82nd Airborne Division, US Army, did, at or near Fort Liberty, NC, on or about 4 July 2024, commit a sexual act upon Jane Victim, by penetrating Jane Victim’s mouth with SGT Ronald Don’s penis, with an intent to arouse the sexual desire of SGT Ronald Don, by first rendering Jane Victim unconscious by drugging her with Rohypnol.

Model Model Specification: Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

In that __________ (personal jurisdiction data), did, (at/on board—location), on or about __________, commit a sexual act upon ______, 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 _________]], by first rendering ___________ unconscious by _______________.

What are the Definitions for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ?

Marriage and Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ. Marriage is not a defense to any offense in violation of Article 120 UCMJ.

If necessary, include the following instruction: Marriage is not a defense to this offense.

Under Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ, “Sexual act” means:

  1. the penetration, however slight, of the penis into the vulva or anus or mouth;
  2. contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, scrotum, or anus; or
  3. 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.

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.”

If Evidence of Consent to Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ has Been Raised, then the Military Judge Will Give the Following Instruction:

The evidence has raised the issue of whether Jane Victim consented to the sexual conduct listed in The Specification One of The Charge. All of the evidence concerning consent to the sexual conduct is relevant. It must be considered in determining whether the government has proven (the elements of the offense) (that the sexual conduct was done by state the applicable element). 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 applicable element).

Consent and Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

“Consent” means a freely given agreement to the conduct at issue by a competent person. An expression of lack of consent through words or conduct means no consent. Lack of verbal or physical resistance does not constitute consent. Submission resulting from the use of force, threat of force, or placing another person in fear also does not constitute consent. A current or previous dating or social or sexual relationship or the manner of dress of the person involved with the accused in the conduct at issue does not constitute consent.

  • A sleeping, unconscious, or incompetent person cannot consent.
  • A person cannot consent to force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.
  • A person cannot consent to being rendered unconscious.
  • A person cannot consent while under threat or in fear.
  • A “competent person” is a person who possesses the physical and mental ability to consent.
  • An “incompetent person” is a person who is incapable of appraising the nature of the conduct at issue, or physically incapable of declining participation in or communicating unwillingness to engage in the sexual act at issue.
  • All the surrounding circumstances are to be considered in determining whether a person
    gave consent.

Military Defense Lawyers for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ Cases

If you are suspected or accused of Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ (Rape), reach out to speak with one of our experienced military court martial lawyers to discuss your best defense strategy.

Overview of Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 Ucmj Military Defense LawyersArticle 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) addresses various forms of sexual misconduct, including rape by first rendering the victim unconscious. This offense is particularly heinous as it involves the deliberate incapacitation of the victim to facilitate sexual assault. This article provides an in-depth analysis of the elements of the offense, the collateral consequences of a conviction, and the broader policy implications of sexual assault in the military.

Basics of Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

To secure a conviction for rape by first rendering unconscious under Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Act of Rape: The accused committed a sexual act upon another person.
  • Rendering Unconscious: The accused rendered the other person unconscious through some means before the commission of the sexual act.
  • Lack of Consent: The other person did not consent to the sexual act.
  • Intent: The accused intended to commit the sexual act after rendering the victim unconscious.

Collateral Consequences of a Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ Conviction

A conviction for rape by first rendering unconscious under Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ carries numerous collateral consequences that extend beyond immediate penalties. These consequences impact the convicted individual’s life, career, and personal relationships long-term.

Sex Offender Registration for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

One of the most significant collateral consequences of a conviction for rape is mandatory sex offender registration. This requirement involves several severe and lasting repercussions:

  • Public Registry: The convicted individual will be listed on public sex offender registries, which are accessible to employers, landlords, and the general public. This public listing can lead to social ostracism and significant personal and professional difficulties.
  • Regular Reporting: Registered sex offenders must regularly report to law enforcement authorities and update their personal information, including changes in address, employment, and other relevant details.
  • Residency Restrictions: There are often strict limitations on where registered sex offenders can live, particularly in proximity to schools, parks, and other areas frequented by children. These restrictions can severely limit housing options and force offenders to move away from established support networks.
  • Employment Challenges: Many employers are reluctant to hire registered sex offenders, making it difficult for convicted individuals to find and maintain stable employment.

Federal Felony Conviction for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

A conviction under Article 120 UCMJ for rape by first rendering unconscious is classified as a federal felony. This designation has numerous far-reaching consequences:

  • Voting Rights: In many states, a federal felony conviction results in the loss of the right to vote, either temporarily or permanently.
  • Firearm Ownership: Convicted felons are prohibited from owning or possessing firearms, which impacts personal freedoms and recreational activities.
  • Jury Service: Felony convictions often disqualify individuals from serving on juries, affecting their ability to participate in the civic process.
  • Public Assistance: Certain types of public assistance, including housing and food stamps, may be denied to individuals with felony convictions.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma of a felony conviction can lead to significant personal and professional isolation, affecting relationships and community standing.

Dishonorable Discharge for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

A dishonorable discharge is one of the most severe punitive discharges resulting from a court-martial conviction under Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ. The consequences of a dishonorable discharge are profound and long-lasting:

  • Loss of Military Benefits: Individuals who receive a dishonorable discharge forfeit all military benefits, including retirement pay, healthcare, and access to military facilities.
  • Employment Difficulties: Many employers view a dishonorable discharge as equivalent to a severe criminal conviction, which can significantly hinder job prospects.
  • Loss of VA Benefits: Veterans who receive a dishonorable discharge are typically ineligible for Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits, which include healthcare, disability compensation, and educational assistance.
  • Social Stigma: A dishonorable discharge carries a significant social stigma, which can affect personal relationships and community integration.

Confinement for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

Confinement is a common component of the punishment for a conviction under Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ. The impacts of confinement extend beyond the duration of the sentence itself:

  • Family Strain: Long-term confinement can place immense strain on family relationships, potentially leading to marital issues, estrangement from children, and other familial conflicts.
  • Financial Hardship: The loss of income during confinement and potential legal fees and other expenses can lead to significant financial hardship for the convicted individual and their family.
  • Mental Health: The experience of confinement can have severe effects on mental health, leading to issues such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Reintegration Challenges: After release, reintegrating into society can be challenging due to the stigma of confinement and the various restrictions and limitations imposed on convicted felons.

Policy Implications of Sexual Assault in the Military

Sexual assault in the military has significant policy implications and has been a focal point for reform and legislative action. The prevalence of sexual assault cases within the armed forces undermines military readiness, unit cohesion, and the overall morale of service members. Recognizing these issues, Congress has taken several actions to address and mitigate sexual assault in the military.

In recent years, legislative measures have aimed at improving the reporting and prosecution of sexual assault cases. For various fiscal years, the National Defense Authorization Acts (NDAA) have included provisions to enhance protections for victims, ensure the independence of investigations, and hold perpetrators accountable. These measures include:

  • Establishing Special Victims’ Counsel: Providing victims with legal representation to guide them through the reporting and prosecution process.
  • Mandatory Reporting and Oversight: Implementing mandatory reporting requirements and increased oversight to ensure accountability and transparency in handling sexual assault cases.
  • Training and Prevention Programs: Expanding training and prevention programs to educate service members about sexual assault and promote a culture of respect and accountability.

These actions reflect Congress’s commitment to addressing the issue of sexual assault within the military and ensuring a safer environment for all service members.

Military Defense Lawyers for Rape By First Rendering Unconscious Article 120 UCMJ

Rape by first rendering unconscious under Article 120 UCMJ is a severe offense with far-reaching consequences. Beyond immediate punishments, convicted individuals face mandatory sex offender registration, the stigma of a federal felony conviction, the impacts of a dishonorable discharge, and the challenges associated with confinement. The policy implications of sexual assault in the military have prompted significant legislative action aimed at improving the handling of these cases and protecting victims. Understanding the full scope of these consequences underscores the importance of addressing and preventing sexual assault within the armed forces.

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