Legal Question in Military Law in Colorado

do we have options?

My husband was accused of sexual assault, convicted and sentenced by courtmartial this past 08/27/08. Everyone in the court room were surprised of the verdict to include the prosecuting attorney. My husband was very confident he would be found not guity because he says he didn't do the allegation? passed polygraph test, statements have been consistent. ALL attorneys involved didn't want to take the matter to trail but my his colonel (alone) was pushing for court martial. The accuser was a young officer and had recanted her story three times. was asked after being informed that my husband had taken the test and passed, would she be willing to take the test,she declined.She was asked after the incident occured how was her relationship with my husband. She said they had a great relationship.After the 'incident the witnesses had stated that they never noticed a changed in their interaction.On several occasions she had joined them for a smoke break with my husband present she doesn't smoke.After the incident she invited himto ride with her to a meeting alone.The week of the allegation she was moved to where she wanted to be a request denied months prior to the incident and thereafter. There are so much more need more space

Asked on 8/29/08, 1:00 pm

3 Answers from Attorneys

Michael Eisenberg Law Office of Michael D.J. Eisenberg, Attorney and Counselor at Law

Re: do we have options?

I handle military criminal appeals. Someone in your husband's situation should have an automatic appeal. However, I would need more information to better assess the situation.

Feel free to contact my office to set up an appointment if you (or a family member with power of attorney) would like to talk about your case. I offer free, initial consultations and would be happy to initiate the teleconference in order to save you (or your family member) in long distance charges.

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Answered on 8/29/08, 1:50 pm

William J. Holmes Attorney at Military Law

Re: do we have options?

You have 2 options now. To submit clemency petitions to the convening authority to try to get the conviction overturned and to appeal the conviction to the Court of Appeals. You need to make sure that you have an attorney who is familiar with the military appellate process.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact my office. I will be happy to speak with you either in person, on the telephone or by email.

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Answered on 8/29/08, 2:30 pm
Donald G. Rehkopf, Jr. Brenna, Brenna & Boyce, PLLC

Re: do we have options? Yes!

Yes you have many options and the question at this juncture, which one(s) are the best in your husband's situation. First of all, this is NOT a secure forum, so please do not provide any of the specifics. But, in general, there are things such as was the trial before a Military Judge alone, or was there a "panel" [the military word for "jury"]?

Next, what is the rank of your husband versus the rank of the woman accuser? I know that you said she was a LT. If your husband was enlisted, the "word" of an officer carries more weight - in general - than an enlisted.

Without knowing the experience level of your husband's defense counsel, I'm not in a position to comment on what possible defenses there were, how viable they may have been, etc.

I have been defending military members for 32+ years, including 2 tours as an AF Defense Counsel, and have defended 100's of military members of all ranks and for all charges.

What happens now, depends first of all on the sentence your husband received. If he got a discharge or a sentence of more than a year, they must prepare a verbatim record [transcript] which will take some time depending on how long the trial was. If not, a summarized transcript is usually available in a couple of weeks. The military defense counsel will be in the best position to "know" how long things take at the base. There are post-trial clemency issues, petitions for a new trial, and appeals that are part of the military process - all of which need to be considered.

If you want more specifics, email me at my office, [email protected] and send me a phone number and I will call you this weekend.

Good luck in any event.

Don Rehkopf

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Answered on 8/29/08, 3:36 pm

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