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UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

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

What is UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm?

Ucmj Article 120 Rape By Force Likely To Cause Death Or Grievous Bodily HarmAccusations of rape by force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm under Article 120 UCMJ are among the most serious in the military justice system. This charge involves using force that could result in significant injury or death to coerce sexual acts. Convictions can lead to severe punishments, including lengthy mandatory sentences, dishonorable discharge, and sex offender registration.

Given these allegations’ gravity, the accused must seek the best military defense lawyers possible. Experienced Article 120 UCMJ lawyers can provide a thorough defense, navigating the complex military legal system and protecting the accused’s rights. A skilled lawyer can challenge the evidence, identify procedural errors, and work towards mitigating the charges or penalties. Professional legal assistance is crucial to achieving the best possible outcome for those facing such serious accusations.

Note: The maximum and minimum punishments for UCMJ

Article 120, Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, vary depending on the date of the offense.

In the military, the crime of UCMJ Article 120, Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, 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 Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, Article 120 UCMJ?

For UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm 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 UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm 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. Manual for Courts-Martial, United States (2024 ed.), Appendix 12B-C
  • Federal Felony Conviction

What are the collateral consequences of having to register as a convicted sex offender?

Ucmj Article 120 Rape By Force Likely To Cause Death Or Grievous Bodily Harm Military Defense LawyersSex 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 Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm Article 120 UCMJ

A military member convicted of Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, 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

What are the Elements of Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, 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 using force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm to (victim), to wit: (state the alleged force).

Sample Model Specification: Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, 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 using force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm to Jane Victim, to wit: by strangling Jane Victim and striking her with a hammer.

Model Specification: Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, 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 using force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm to _____________, to wit: _______________.

What are the Definitions for Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm Article 120 UCMJ?

By force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. When the sexual act is alleged by force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm, include the following instructions:

“Force” under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm means the use of a weapon; the use of such physical strength or violence as is sufficient to overcome, restrain, or injure a person; or inflicting physical harm sufficient to coerce or compel submission by the victim.

“Grievous bodily harm” under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm means serious bodily injury. It includes fractured or dislocated bones, deep cuts, torn members of the body, serious damage to internal organs, and other severe bodily injuries. It does not include minor injuries such as a black eye or a bloody nose.

The force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm which caused the victim to engage in the sexual act need not have been applied by the accused to the victim. It is sufficient if the accused applied such force to any person, which thereby caused the victim to engage in the sexual act.

Marriage and UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm . Marriage is not a defense to any offense in violation of Article 120.

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

“Sexual act” under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm 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” under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm is the external genital organs of the female, including the entrance of the vagina and the labia majora and labia minora.

“Labia” under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm is the Latin and medically correct term for “lips.”

Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm 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 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” 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 there is 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 by itself 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.

If you or a loved one are in the military and are suspected or accused of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm, or any other military offense, then contact our experienced military defense lawyers to discuss your case.

Overview of Article 120 UCMJ: Rape by Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm encompasses various sexual offenses, including rape by force. Rape by force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm is one of the most severe offenses under this article. It addresses instances where the accused uses or threatens force that is likely to result in death or severe injury to compel the victim to engage in sexual acts. This guide provides a comprehensive overview of Article 120, focusing on the elements of the offense, legal defenses, and the collateral consequences of a conviction.

Basics of  UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

To secure a conviction of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • Sexual Act: The accused engaged in a sexual act with the victim. A sexual act is defined as contact between the penis and the vulva or anus, contact between the mouth and the penis, vulva, or anus, or penetration of the anal or genital opening of another by a hand, finger, or any object with the intent to abuse, humiliate, harass, degrade, or gratify the sexual desire of any person.
  • Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: The accused used force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm or threatened to use such force. Grievous bodily harm includes serious injury that creates a substantial risk of death, causes serious permanent disfigurement, or results in long-term loss or impairment of the function of any body part or organ.
  • Lack of Consent: The sexual act was committed without the consent of the victim. Consent must be given voluntarily and cannot be obtained through coercion, force, or threats.
  • Intent: The accused intended to engage in the sexual act by using or threatening force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.

Collateral Consequences of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm Conviction

A conviction for rape by force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm carries numerous collateral consequences that extend beyond the immediate penalties. These include sex offender registration, a federal felony conviction, a dishonorable discharge, and confinement. These consequences can have profound and long-lasting effects on the convicted individual’s life.

Sex Offender Registration for UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

One of the most significant collateral consequences of a conviction for UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm is the requirement to register as a sex offender. This requirement comes with numerous challenges:

  • Public Registry: Being listed on a public sex offender registry can lead to social ostracism, harassment, and difficulties finding housing and employment. Potential employers, landlords, and community members often have access to these registries, making reintegration into society challenging.
  • Residency Restrictions: Registered sex offenders often face strict residency restrictions, limiting where they can live. These restrictions may prohibit living near schools, parks, playgrounds, and other areas where children are present, further complicating housing options.
  • Notification Requirements: Registered sex offenders are required to regularly report their address, employment, and other personal details to law enforcement. They must also notify authorities of any changes, which can be burdensome and invasive.
  • Travel Restrictions: Sex offender registration can impose significant travel restrictions. Convicted individuals may be required to notify law enforcement before traveling, and certain states or countries may deny entry to registered sex offenders, limiting personal and professional mobility.

Federal Felony Conviction for UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

A conviction under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm results in a federal felony conviction, which carries severe and lasting consequences:

  • Employment Challenges: A federal felony conviction can severely limit employment opportunities. Many employers conduct background checks and are hesitant to hire individuals with a felony conviction, particularly one involving sexual violence.
  • Professional Licenses: Certain professions require clean records for licensing. A felony conviction can bar individuals from obtaining necessary certifications and licenses, closing doors to careers in law, medicine, education, and more.
  • Loss of Civil Rights: Convicted felons may lose various civil rights, including the right to vote, serve on a jury, and possess firearms. These losses can diminish civic participation and personal freedoms.
  • Social Stigma: The social stigma attached to a felony conviction can affect personal relationships, community standing, and mental health. Convicted individuals may face ongoing prejudice and discrimination.
  • Public Assistance and Housing: A felony conviction can lead to the denial of certain public benefits, including housing assistance and food stamps. Additionally, finding affordable housing can be challenging due to discrimination against individuals with criminal records.

Dishonorable Discharge for UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

A dishonorable discharge is one of the most severe forms of military discharge, reserved for the most egregious offenses. The consequences of a dishonorable discharge are extensive:

  • Loss of Military Benefits: A dishonorable discharge results in the loss of all military benefits, including retirement pay, healthcare benefits, and access to military facilities. This loss can have a significant financial impact, particularly for those who have served for many years.
  • Employment Challenges: A dishonorable discharge is a major red flag for potential employers. Many view it similarly to a felony conviction, making it difficult to secure meaningful employment.
  • Reputation Damage: The stigma of a dishonorable discharge can lead to social isolation and damage to personal and professional relationships. This stigma can persist for many years, affecting various aspects of life.
  • Legal Restrictions: Like a felony conviction, a dishonorable discharge can result in losing civil rights, including the right to vote, serve on a jury, and possess firearms.

Confinement for UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

Confinement is a common penalty for a conviction under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm. The consequences of confinement extend beyond the duration of the sentence:

  • Career Disruption of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: Confinement interrupts or ends a military career, often with no possibility of returning to service. This disruption can lead to a loss of professional identity and financial stability.
  • Family Strain of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: The incarceration of a family member can place significant strain on family relationships, leading to marital issues, estrangement from children, and other familial conflicts.
  • Mental Health impact of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: Incarceration can have a profound impact on mental health, leading to stress, anxiety, depression, and other psychological issues. The transition back to civilian life after confinement can also be challenging.
  • Reintegration Challenges of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: Returning to society after confinement involves numerous challenges, including finding employment, securing housing, and rebuilding social networks. The stigma of a criminal record can exacerbate these difficulties.

Legal Defenses for UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm

Accused individuals have the right to present a defense against charges of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm. Common defenses include:

  • Consent under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: The defense may argue that the sexual act was consensual. However, this defense is challenging if the prosecution can prove the use or threat of force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.
  • Mistaken Identity in UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: The defense may argue that the accused was not the individual who committed the offense. This defense often relies on alibi evidence or challenges to the prosecution’s identification methods.
  • False Accusations of UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: The defense may present evidence suggesting that the accusations are false or motivated by ulterior motives. This defense requires thorough investigation and corroborating evidence.
  • Lack of Intent in UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm: The defense may argue that the accused did not intend to use or threaten force likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm. This defense focuses on the accused’s state of mind and actions during the incident.

Importance of Legal Representation in UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm Cases

Given the serious nature of the charges and the severe consequences of a conviction, it is crucial for individuals accused of rape by force under UCMJ Article 120 Rape By Force Likely to Cause Death or Grievous Bodily Harm to seek experienced legal representation. A qualified military defense attorney can provide guidance, build a strong defense, and protect the accused’s rights throughout the legal process.

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