More than 15 years defending article 120 sexual assault cases.
Patrick Korody handled his first Article 120 UCMJ case in 2006. For the last 10 years, he has been on the frontlines of the military’s war on sexual assault. And, he has seen its casualties – countless good Sailors, Soldiers, Marines, Airman, and Coastguardsmen who have had their lives ruined based on nothing more than an allegation unsupported by physical, forensic, or medical evidence made by an incredible accuser. Former partners, spouses, or random persons met in bar know and learn to use the power of the sexual assault allegation against those in uniform. The allegation itself can ruin a career – placing promotions and transfers on hold; resulting in temporary transfers to positions less advantageous for promotion; an arrest record that now has to be explained in every security clearance and job application. Even more dangerous is the specter of guilt that engulfs a military member upon the accusation that has to be overcome to even have the hope of being found not guilty of the offense.
Korody Law has defended Sailors charged with Article 120 offenses – rape, sexual assault, sexual contract, indecent viewing, recording and broadcasting offenses – around the world. I have seen its casualties because of court-martial panels that sacrifice the accused to avoid any implications to their career because they don’t want to be remembered for finding someone accused of a sex offense not guilty. Often, the military assigns inexperienced defense counsel to these complex, very serious cases. These counsels diligently attempt to defend their clients, but there is no substitute for inexperience. To be clear, there is no equivalent to a military sexual assault court-martial – the deck is stacked against the accused and the only way through is to outwork, outmaneuver, and conquer the prosecution. In its effort to obtain more court-martial convictions for sex offenses, Congress has changed Article 120 three times in less than 10 years. Offenses committed on or about January 1, 2019 are covered by the current statute; offenses committed on or before September 30, 2007 are covered by the original Article 120 Rape statute, that was changed effective October 1, 2007 as the war on sexual assault began. This 2007 statute was plagued by poor drafting, so Congress enacted a new statute that covered the period from June 28, 2012 through December 31, 2018. In 2013, in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY-2014, Congress, dissatisfied with the punishments that some members convicted of sexual assault were receiving (these punishments were likely a way for the members panel who had just found the member guilty based on questionable evidence to express their misgivings about the case) enacted mandatory dishonorable discharges following convictions for rape, sexual assault, or forcible sodomy. These mandatory punishments were codified in Article 58, UCMJ. Congress also mandated that all charges of rape and sexual assault must be referred for trial by General Court-Martial, where the maximum punishment could include life imprisonment. Congress also changed the Article 32 process from an investigation to a preliminary hearing. This made it harder for defense counsel to root out false accusations and easier for the prosecutors to push more cases for trial by court-martial. Congress also mandated that the military use specially trained sex crimes prosecutors in all sexual assault cases in an attempt to outgun often junior detailed military defense counsel.
All of these efforts are geared towards one thing – MORE CONVICTIONS WITH GREATER PUNISHMENT.
Korody Law has handled Article 120 sexual assault cases across all services from San Diego, California to Washington, DC to Bremerton, WA to Key West, Florida and everywhere in between. We pride ourselves on being the Nation’s best military sexual assault defense law firm. Mr. Korody started his law practice in Jacksonville, Florida after leaving active duty in the United States Navy Judge Advocate Generals (JAG) Corps. He served as both one of the Navy’s top prosecutors and top defense counsel. Since leaving active duty, he has mastered his defense skill handling the most complex cases in the United States including capital (death penalty) cases and cases of both serial murderers and serial rapists.
Korody Law is the Nation's top military sexual assault defense law firm. We have successfully active and reserve component members across all of the branches and national guard members facing sexual assault charges.
Article 120, UCMJ - rape and sexual assault generally
[Note: This statute applies to offenses committed on or after 1 January 2019. Previous versions of Article 120 are located as follows: for offenses committed on or before 30 September 2007, see Appendix 20; for offenses committed during the period 1 October 2007 through 27 June 2012, see Appendix 21; for offenses committed during the period 28 June 2012 through 31 December 2018, see Appendix 22.]
RAPE.—Any person subject to this chapter who commits a sexual act upon another
(1) Using unlawful force against that other person;
(2) Using force causing or likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm to any person;
(3) Threatening or placing that other person in fear that any person will be subjected to death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping;
(4) First rendering that other person unconscious; or
(5) Administering to that other person by force or threat of force, or without the knowledge or consent of that person, a drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance and thereby substantially impairing the ability of that other person to appraise or control conduct; is guilty of rape and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
SEXUAL ASSAULT.—Any person subject to this chapter who—
(1) Commits a sexual act upon another person by—
(A) Threatening or placing that other person in fear;
(B) Making a fraudulent representation that the sexual act serves a professional purpose; or
(C) Inducing a belief by any artifice, pretense, or concealment that the person is another person;
(2) Commits a sexual act upon another person—
(A) Without the consent of the other person; or
(B) When the person knows or reasonably should know that the other person is asleep, unconscious, or otherwise unaware that the sexual act is occurring;
(3) Commits a sexual act upon another person hen the other person is incapable of consenting to the sexual act due to—
(A) Impairment by any drug, intoxicant, or other similar substance, and that condition is known or reasonably should be known by the person; or
(B) A mental disease or defect, or physical disability, and that condition is known or reasonably should be known by the person; is guilty of sexual assault and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
AGGRAVATED SEXUAL CONTACT.—
Any person subject to this chapter who commits or causes sexual contact upon or
by another person, if
to do so would violate subsection (a) (rape) had the sexual contact been a
sexual act, is guilty of aggravated sexual contact and shall be punished as a
court-martial may direct.
ABUSIVE SEXUAL CONTACT.—
Any person subject to this chapter who commits o causes sexual contact upon or by
another person, if to do so would violate subsection (b) (sexual assault) had
the sexual contact been a sexual act, is guilty of abusive sexual contact and
shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
How do I know if I have been accused of sexual assault in the military?
- You are given a military protective order.
- You are reassigned with little or no explanation.
- You are ordered to go to NCIS, CID, OSI, or CGIS (make no statements!).
- You get a phone call or text messages from a sexual partner wanting to understand why you had sex when the partner did not want to do it. DO not respond and hang up. These are recorded calls by law enforcement to coerce you into confessing!
- You hear from friends that someone is on social medial saying you raped them – this is considered an unrestricted report and will be investigated!
Korody Law offers a free, no cost consultation.
Call us now at (904) 383-7261