UCMJ Article 120c

UCMJ Article 120c

Other Sexual Misconduct


Crimes related to sexual misconduct that do not fall under the categories of sexual assault or rape are prosecuted under Article 120c of the UCMJ. A military member accused of voyeurism, taping and distributing pornography, indecent exposure, or forcible pandering, will be subject to prosecution under Article 120c of the UCMJ.

Like all allegations of sexual misconduct in the military these offenses put the principles of justice and due process to the test. Despite the right to be presumed innocent, military members facing these charges are far too often ostracized even before they have a court date.

 

Maximum Possible Punishments for violations of Article 120c: Other Sexual Misconduct

The maximum punishment according to Article 120c varies according to the specific offense. For example:

Forcible pandering – Forfeiture of all pay and allowances, confinement for 12 years, and a dismissal or dishonorable discharge.

Broadcasting or distribution of an indecent visual recording – Forfeiture of all pay and allowances, confinement for 7 years, and a dismissal or dishonorable discharge.

Indecent visual recording – Forfeiture of all pay and allowances, confinement for 5 years, and a dismissal or dishonorable discharge.

Indecent viewing and indecent exposure – Forfeiture of all pay and allowances, confinement for 1 year, and a dismissal or dishonorable discharge.

 

Understanding Article 120c of the UCMJ?

There are six separate crimes outlined in Article 120c. Each offense has a unique set of elements.

  1. Indecent viewing
    • That the accused knowingly and wrongfully viewed the private area of another person
    • That said viewing was without the other person’s consent; and
    • That said viewing took place under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  2. Indecent recording
    • That the accused knowingly recorded the private area of another person;
    • That said recording was without the other person’s consent; and
    • That said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  3. Broadcasting of an indecent recording
    • That the accused knowingly broadcast a certain recording of another person’s private area
    • That said recording was made or broadcast without the other person’s consent;
    • That the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the recording was made or broadcast without the other person’s consent;
    • That said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy; and
    • That the accused knew or reasonably should have known said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  4. Distribution of an indecent visual recording
    • That the accused knowingly distributed a certain recording of another person’s private area;
    • That said recording was made or distributed without the other person’s consent;
    • That the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the recording was made or distributed without the other person’s consent;
    • That said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy; and
    • That the accused knew or reasonably should have known said recording was made under circumstances in which the other person had a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  5. Forcible pandering
    • That the accused compelled another person to engage in an act of prostitution with any person.
  6. Indecent exposure
    • That the accused exposed his or her genitalia, anus, buttocks, or female areola or nipple;
    • That the exposure was in an indecent manner; and
    • That the exposure was intentional.

Summary of Article 120c:Most allegations under Article 120c are related to voyeurism and the non-consensual recording, broadcasting or distribution of pornographic material. In these cases, the governmentis required to prove that the victim had a reasonable expectation of privacy and that the actions taken by the accused were done without the consent of the victim.

In forcible pandering cases the government must prove that the accused forced a victim to engage in an act of prostitution, while indecent exposure cases require the government to prove the accused exposed a private area to another person intentionally and in an indecent manner.

 

How do you defend against Article 120c charges?

When you are facing the combined resources of the military as well as the current cultural climate, you need to be prepared to defend your career and your freedom. Crisp and Associates, LLC has a team of experienced trial attorneys who have won these cases. This team includes the firm’s founder, Jonathan Crisp, a highly respected former Army JAG with over 20 years of experience in military law and a sought-after speaker and lecturer on military law. Donald Gordon has litigated cases before the Discharge Review Board, the Board for Correction of Military Records, and the Board for Correction of Naval Records regarding a wide variety of matters and a diverse background of clients

 

If you are someone you know is facing Article 120 charges you need to speak with a Military defense attorney right away. Please call Crisp and Associates Military at 717-412-4676 for a free consultation.

View more UCMJ Articles.