Sexual Assault of a Child Defense Attorneys | Military Sex Crime Lawyers

Sexual Assault of a Child Defense Attorneys Article 120b UCMJ

(For offenses committed after 1 January 2019)

There is one type of Sexual Assault of a Child under Article 120b
YouTube video

Contact our Seasoned Sex Crime Lawyers

Our team of seasoned sex crime lawyers has the education to aggressively defend your charges against military prosecutors. They are some of the most experienced in the area of military sexual assault defense. Our seasoned civilian attorneys have decades of sex crime defense experience. If you or a loved one has been accused of a sex crime such as Sexual Assault of a Child, then act now! Our aggressive military criminal defense attorneys will have your back.

A sex crime is an offense that takes place when someone sexually assaults or instigates an unwanted sexual act through psychological and physical manipulation.

We have successfully defended and acquitted Soldiers across the globe. Check out our court-martial case results to learn more.
The experienced military attorneys at Gonzalez & Waddington have developed a reputation for defending service members at US military bases around the world, such as Fort Bragg. For example, suppose you are accused of a military crime. In that case, having the most hard-hitting military criminal defense attorney can be the difference between losing your career and family versus winning your case or redeeming your career. Our defense attorneys represent service members in criminal and administrative matters, including defending Sailors accused of sex assault, drug use, and other offenses under military law.

Unlike most civilian military defense lawyers or your assigned counsel, pleading guilty is not something we commonly recommend. Instead, our attorneys force the prosecution to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Then, we take almost every allegation to trial and fight the allegations in front of a military jury.

Our trial outcomes speak for themselves. The suspected service member and his or her desired outcome is our principal concern. Our court-martial defense attorneys maintain lighter caseloads than the average free US military attorney so that we can concentrate on each trial on an individual basis. Your trial will not be outsourced to a random lawyer, and we will not push you into taking a dive at the last minute. Our court martial lawyers have contested Army court-martial and administrative separation cases in the United States and worldwide.

The Maximum Punishment for Sexual Assault of a Child, Article 120b, UCMJ is:

  • A dishonorable discharge or a dismissal is a mandatory minimum sentence for sexual assault of a child convicted under this statute.
  • Total Forfeiture of all pay and allowances
  • Confinement for 30 years
  • Reduction to the grade of E-1
  • If convicted of Sexual Assault of a Child, the service member will also have to register as a sex offender.

Sample Specification for Sexual Assault of a Child – Article 120b, UCMJ:

In that Major Roger Collers, US Air Force, did at or near Luke Air Force Base, AZ, on or about July 28, 2023, commit a sexual act upon Julie Doe, a child who had attained the age of 12 years but had not attained the age of 16 years, by penetrating Julie Doe’s vulva with Major Roger Collers’s penis with an intent to gratify the sexual desire of Major Roger Collers.

YouTube video

Elements of Sexual Assault of a Child – Article 120b, UCMJ:

Each element must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution.

(1) That (state the time and place alleged), the accused committed (a) sexual act(s) upon (state the 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 attained the age of 12 years, but had not attained the age of 16 years.

Military sex crimes include:

Definitions and Other Instructions for Sexual Assault of a Child – Article 120b, UCMJ:

“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.

“Child” means any person who has not attained the age of 16 years.

The prosecution is not required to prove the accused knew that (state the name of the alleged victim) had not attained the age of 16 years 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.”
NOTE 1: Mistake of fact as to age.

Mistake of fact as to age is an affirmative defense to sexual assault of a child. If raised by some evidence, the military judge must advise the members that the defense has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that mistake existed. When mistake of fact as to age has been raised, include the following instruction. The burden of proof in the instruction below is as provided in the statute.

The evidence has raised the issue of mistake on the part of the accused concerning the offense(s) of sexual assault of a child, as alleged in (the) Specification(s) (___) of (the) (Additional) Charge (___). Specifically, the mistake concerns the accused’s belief that (state the name of the alleged victim) was at least 16 years of age when the alleged sexual act(s) occurred.

The prosecution is not required to prove the accused knew that (state the name of the alleged victim) had not attained the age of 16 years at the time the alleged sexual act(s) occurred. However, an honest and reasonable mistake of fact as to (state the name of the alleged victim)’s age is a defense to (that) (those) charged offense(s).

“Mistake of fact as to age” means the accused held, as a result of ignorance or mistake, an incorrect belief that the other person engaging in the sexual conduct was at least 16 years old. The ignorance or mistake must have existed in the mind of the accused and must have been reasonable under all the circumstances. To be reasonable the ignorance or mistake must have been based on information, or lack of it, which would indicate to a reasonable person that (state the name of the alleged victim) was at least 16 years old. Additionally, the ignorance or mistake cannot be based on the negligent failure to discover the true facts. Negligence is the absence of due care. Due care is what a reasonably careful person would do under the same or similar circumstances.

The burden is on the defense to establish the accused was under this mistaken belief, by a preponderance of the evidence.

A “preponderance” means more likely than not. If you are not convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that, at the time of the charged sexual assault of a child, the accused was under a mistaken belief that (state the name of the alleged victim) was at least 16 years old, the defense does not exist. Even if you conclude the accused was under the honest and mistaken belief that (state the name of the alleged victim) was at least 16 years old, if you are not convinced by preponderance of the evidence that, at the time of the charged sexual assault of a child, the accused’s mistake was reasonable, the defense does not exist.

YouTube video

NOTE 2: Voluntary intoxication and mistake of fact as to age. If there is evidence of the accused’s voluntary intoxication, the following instruction is appropriate:

There is evidence in this case that indicates that, at the time of the alleged sexual assault of a child, the accused may have been under the influence of (alcohol) (drugs). The accused’s state of voluntary intoxication, if any, at the time of the offense is not relevant to mistake of fact. A mistaken belief that (state the name of the alleged victim) was at least 16 years of age must be that which a reasonably careful, ordinary, prudent, sober adult would have had under the circumstances at the time of the offense. Voluntary intoxication does not permit what would be an unreasonable belief in the mind of a sober person to be considered reasonable because the person is intoxicated.

YouTube video

NOTE 5: Marriage.

It is a defense that the persons engaging in the sexual act were at that time married to each other, except where the accused commits a sexual act upon the person when the accused knows or reasonably should know that the other person is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual act is occurring or when the other person is incapable of consenting to the sexual act due to impairment by any drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance, and that condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the accused. If raised by some evidence, the military judge must advise the members that the defense has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that a marriage existed. When marriage between the accused and the alleged victim of the sexual assault of a child has been raised, include the following instruction:

The evidence has raised the issue of marriage between the accused and (state the name of the alleged victim) concerning the offense(s) of sexual assault of a child, as alleged in (the) Specification(s) (___) of (the) (Additional) Charge (___).It is a defense to (that) (those) charged offense(s) that the accused and (state the name of the alleged victim) were married to each other when they engaged in the sexual act(s).

A “marriage” is a relationship, recognized by the laws of a competent State or foreign jurisdiction, between the accused and (state the name of the alleged victim) as spouses. A marriage exists until it is dissolved in accordance with the laws of a competent State or foreign jurisdiction.

YouTube video

The defense of marriage does not exist where the accused commits the alleged sexual act(s) upon (state the name of the alleged victim) when the accused knows or reasonably should know that she/he is asleep, unconscious or otherwise unaware that the sexual act(s) (is) (are) occurring or when she / he is incapable of consenting to the sexual act(s) due to impairment by any drug, intoxicant or other similar substance, and that condition was known or reasonably should have been known by the accused.
YouTube video

The defense has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the defense of marriage exists. The term “preponderance” means more likely than not. Therefore, unless you are convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the sexual act(s) alleged, the accused and (state the name of the alleged victim) were married to each other, the defense of marriage does not exist.

Even if you are convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the sexual act(s) alleged, the accused and (state the name of the alleged victim) were married to each other, if you are not also convinced by a preponderance of the evidence that (state the name of the alleged victim) was not (asleep, unconscious or otherwise unaware of the sexual act(s) occurring) (incapable of consenting to the sexual act(s) due to impairment by any drug, intoxicant or other similar substance) or that the accused was not aware of and should not have been aware of such condition, the defense of marriage does not exist.

Sexual Assault of a Child Court Martial Lawyers

Our law firm’s founding attorneys, Michael Waddington and Alexandra Gonzalez-Waddington, graduated from Temple Law School in Philadelphia, PA. In addition, Mr. Waddington is a member of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. The ABCL is regarded as one of the most esteemed legal groups comprised of some of the top defense attorneys in the United States. Membership is by invitation only and is limited to extremely accomplished defense lawyers that have ten or more years of experience defending criminal trials. At this time, they must have defended 50 or more felony trials and must have won 35 or more jury trials.

In addition, Mr. Waddington was voted a “Super Lawyer” in Georgia and is rated Superb on AVVO.com. Some of Michael Waddington’s cases were made into television shows, such as “Killings at the Canal,” a CNN documentary special that unveils what caused the murders of Iraqi terrorists by Army soldiers. He also regularly instructs criminal attorneys on criminal defense.
Our hard-hitting civilian defense lawyers will use our experience to defend your court-martial or ADSEP case.

YouTube video

Call today to speak with aggressive civilian attorneys.

Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard personnel deserve the best court-martial defense lawyers possible to defend them at their court-martial or administrative separation (ADSEP) proceeding.

Military Sexual Assault of a Child, Penalties, & Legal Defenses

Our hard-hitting defense lawyers and their victories set us apart from less seasoned lawyers.

If you or a loved one are charged with a military Article 120 UCMJ crime or if you are facing an administrative separation, Article 15, show cause board, letter of reprimand, then call our court-martial defense attorneys now.

Sexual Assault of a Child – Sexual Behavior in the Military

Military statutes include numerous sex-related crimes. Military laws try to capture every possible human activity related to sexual misconduct and deviance. However, military sex crimes can be broken down into rape, aggravated sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, child sex crimes, obscenity, and child pornography crimes.

Our seasoned military attorneys and their victories set us apart from less seasoned attorneys.

If you or a family member are accused of a military Article 120 UCMJ crime or if you are facing an administrative separation, non-judicial punishment, show cause board, letter of reprimand, then contact our civilian attorneys now.

The accused service member and his or her well-being is our primary concern. Our criminal defense attorneys maintain lighter caseloads than the average assigned defense attorney so that we can focus on each client on an individual basis. Your case will not be outsourced to a third party, and we will not bully you into pleading guilty at the eleventh hour. Our military attorneys have contested Army court-martial and administrative separation (ADSEP) cases in the US and worldwide.

Sexual Assault of a Child court-martial attorneys

Scroll to Top