U.S. v. Army E-4 – Fort Stewart, GA
Allegations: RAPE, Violating a no-contact order
Max Punishment: LIFE IN PRISON
Result: NOT GUILTY OF RAPE, Guilty of the MPO violation
SENTENCE: NO JAIL TIME, Reprimand, Reduction to E-3
Location/Branch/Rank: Fort Stewart, GA/Army/E-4
Summary: Our client allegedly “confessed” a rape to CID. They had a written and video confession. Our client was locked up in pretrial confinement and agreed to plead guilty. He was pleading guilty to rape, aggravated assault, and violating a no-contact order. His mother came to watch his guilty plea and stopped him in the middle. She demanded that he seek a second opinion.
His mother called our firm and spoke with Alexandra. While we don’t guarantee results, we let his mother know that we guarantee that we will fight for our clients. We were hired and went to work because the trial was 30 days away.
This case was a unique challenge because our client had signed a written confession admitting to rape and spousal abuse. He also made a videotaped confession to CID. After looking at the alleged “confessions,” our only defense was to attack the confessions head-on. Winning a case with one confession is nearly impossible. Here, we had two confessions, one written and one video recorded.
Before she accused him, our client’s wife asked for a divorce, AND she wanted our client to keep financially supporting her and her new lover. Our client refused. The supposed “victim” had the nerve to bring her lover to her husband’s rape trial. The lover sat in the front row, smirking, but not for long. During her cross-examination, Mr. Waddington called her out, “Is that your new boyfriend in the front row?” he asked, pointing at her lover. The jury turned and glared at her dirtbag boyfriend.
How do we challenge multiple rape confessions in front of a jury without losing credibility?
As Sun Tzu said, in The Art of War: “In war, the way is to avoid what is strong and to strike at what is weak.”
We carefully studied the “confessions,” learned about our client’s personality, analyzed the victim’s story, and reviewed CID regulations and training manuals. We learned that CID shut off the video recorder and threatened to charge our client with attempted murder and a life sentence if he did not confess to rape. They also promised him that nothing would happen to him, so long as he admitted to rape. When he agreed to confess, CID started recording again.
Mr. Waddington, working with Army defense lawyer, CPT Rachel Large, plotted a defense that attacked the alleged victim’s story and the CID interrogation. We showed that the CID interrogators violated their own policies and rules, they used lies, trickery, and deceit, and they preyed on our client’s gullibility.
At the beginning of the trial, we had a 5% chance of success. When the alleged victim and CID agents testified, we hammered them on cross-examination. Then, our odds went to 50/50. In the closing, we swung for the fences.