Misconceptions About Sexual Assault in the Military

misconceptions about sexual assault in the militaryThe Military Environment

In today’s military environment, every military member is required to attend training related to sexual assault response and sexual assault prevention, often referred to as “SARC” or “SHARP”. Sadly, the information provided in these training sessions is often inconsistent with military law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Inaccurate Information is Hurting Our Soldiers

The inaccurate information regarding the law that is provided to military members in this training can create significant problems for military members facing sexual assault allegations. Because of this training, court-martial panel members may be tainted by inaccurate and misleading legal definitions. One example of inaccurate information that is taught in these sessions is the statement often made in military training that, “Anyone who consumes even one alcoholic drink cannot consent to sexual activity.” In other words, military members are taught that it is illegal to engage in sexual activity with anyone who is consumed even one alcoholic beverage. This statement is not an accurate reflection of military law or the Uniform Code of Military Justice. However, this statement is made repeatedly in mandatory training sessions and can lead to a misunderstanding of the law.

The Law

In fact, the Uniform Code of Military Justice requires the government to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an individual was incapable of consent. In other words, they were so incapacitated by the consumption of alcohol they were no longer able to understand the nature and consequences of their actions. There is a clear difference between the law and the legal standard and the information repeatedly taught to military members.

The Help You Need

If you or someone you know is facing allegations of sexual assault in the military, it is critical that you work with a team of attorneys who understand not only the law but also military culture and the training being provided to military members, especially when it can cause unfortunate misunderstandings and lead to wrongful convictions in court-martial proceedings.

Davis Younts is one of the attorneys at Crisp and Associates with the right kind of experience and track record of success to successfully litigate these cases in the military. The former #1 rated Senior Defense Counsel in Air Force also served as the Chief of the Military Justice Division at the Air Force JAG School and as an appellate defense attorney. His legal background and experience as a military officer enable him to leverage his talent as a litigator with an unparalleled knowledge of the military justice system to consistently obtain incredible results for his clients.