If you have been accused of committing a sex crime while serving in the military, you need to be extremely cautious about what you do next. Allegations of a sex offense can have multiple repercussions. You may face criminal charges under Texas or federal law. You could also lose out on career opportunities, or worse yet, be sanctioned by the military or discharged. Your career could be over because of military sex offense charges, which is why it is essential you work with knowledgeable and experienced legal counsel.
Attorney Ned Barnett is an experienced military sex crimes lawyer. He can aggressively defend you against accusations of military sexual assault or another sex offense in a Texas or federal court. He also can work closely with a military attorney who may handle any investigation or disciplinary actions conducted by your branch of the military.
To learn more about your options when facing military sex offense charges, call a Houston sex crimes lawyer from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett at (713) 222-6767, or contact us online to schedule a free and confidential case consultation.
Sexual Assault on Military Bases
It is a shocking and uncomfortable truth that U.S. military personnel face a risk of sexual assault where they live and work. For years, rape within the military was rarely discussed. However, the tides have begun to turn. More military members are opening up about their experiences, and officials have taken steps to become more transparent regarding the issue and punish perpetrators of sex crimes.
The U.S. Department of Defense went so far as to publish a study in 2018 regarding the risk of sexual assault at different military installations and command locations around the world. It is a searchable database that breaks down the risk of sexual assault by location, branch of the military, and sex based on survey results from 2014.
Given the evolving awareness of sexual assault in the military, there is a greater likelihood that a service member will face accusations of committing a sex crime while serving. When you are facing false allegations of a sex crime, such as sexual assault, it is essential you protect yourself. You need to work with an experienced military sex crimes attorney to defend yourself on the civilian front. Accusations alone can harm your military career, but a conviction will do much worse. By calling The Law Offices of Ned Barnett, you have legal counsel who will work hard for you to avoid a criminal conviction, and protect your future in the military.
Have You Been Accused of a Military Sex Crime?
As a military member, it may often seem like you live in an entirely different world than civilians. You are subject to many rules, regulations, and customs that most civilians know nothing about. Despite the differences in your environment, however, you are not immune to being charged with a sex offense. Federal sex crime laws apply to you throughout the country, and if you are stationed or training in Texas, then state laws apply to you, as well.
There are many types of military sex crimes you may face charges for, including:
- Sexual Assault/Rape (Texas Penal Code Sections 22.011 & 22.021)
- Indecency With a Child (Texas Penal Code Section 21.11 (a)(1))
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child (Texas Penal Code Section 21.02)
- Child Pornography (Texas Penal Code Section 43.26)
- Online Solicitation of a Minor (Texas Penal Code Section 33.021)
- Sex With a Minor/Statutory Rape (Texas Penal Code Sections 21.11, 22.011, 22.021)
- Prostitution & Solicitation (Texas Penal Code Section 43.02)
- Indecent Exposure (Texas Penal Code Section 21.08)
- Public Lewdness (Texas Penal Code Section 21.07)
If you’ve been accused of committing any of the above offenses, contact a military sex crimes lawyer from our firm right away for help.
Potential Criminal Charges and Penalties for a Military Sex Crime
One of the most common crimes military members are accused of is sexual assault of another adult or child. Under Texas law, if you are accused of this offense, the charges and penalties you face include:
Sexual Assault (Second-Degree Felony)
- Two to 20 years in prison
- Fines reaching $10,000
- Lifetime sex offender registration
Aggravated Sexual Assault (First-Degree Felony)
- Five to 99 years in prison
- Fines of up to $10,000
- Lifetime sex offender registration
Super Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Child (First-Degree Felony)
- 25 years to life in prison (without parole)
- Lifetime sex offender registration (if you are released)
You also face misdemeanor or felony charges for:
- Indecency With a Child – Second or third-degree felony
- Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child – First-degree felony
- Child Pornography – First, second, or third-degree felony
- Online Solicitation of a Minor – Second or third-degree felony
- Sex With a Minor/Statutory Rape – First, second, or third-degree felony
- Prostitution & Solicitation – Class A or B misdemeanor; or a first, second, or third-degree felony
- Indecent Exposure – Class B misdemeanor
- Public Lewdness – Class A misdemeanor
If you’re a military member facing charges for any of these Houston sex crimes, call a military sex crimes attorney from The Law Offices of Ned Barnett for help.
Consequences for Your Military Career
When you face accusations of a sex crime – whether it is sexual harassment, rape, or child pornography¬ – you can face an investigation within your branch of the military. If the investigation concludes there is evidence you committed a crime under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, you can face disciplinary action. During this time, you should have a military attorney to advise you of your rights and help you protect your career.
Whether or not the military pursues a criminal case against you under military law is based on a commander’s decision – not that of a federal or state prosecutor. If a commander chooses to move forward with a case, this may become public record. You can face the court-martial process. This is not the same as a civilian trial, and you should have an appropriately licensed and experienced military attorney to defend you.
The possible outcome of military trials range. The case may be dismissed, or if you are found guilty, you may lose a certain rank, dishonorably discharged, or confined in a military prison.
Defenses to Military Sex Crimes
If you are accused of a military sex crime and are facing charges in a civilian or military court, you need to hire an experienced military sex crimes lawyer to defend you. Attorney Ned Barnett is prepared to aggressively defend you in Texas criminal courtroom.
Some potential defenses for your sex crime case include:
- You reasonably believed you had consent to have sexual intercourse or contact with another adult.
- You have an alibi that shows you could not be the perpetrator of the sex offense.
- There has been a mistake of identity.
- You are being falsely accused, and the victim has ulterior motives.
- There are inconsistencies and gaps in the victim and/or witnesses’ testimonies.
- Your attorney could question the medical evidence related to your alleged sex offense.
- Your lawyer could also question the electronic evidence involved in an internet-related sex crime.
- You were not more than three years older than the minor participant, and the sexual activity was consensual.
- You were entrapped by a law enforcement agent.
- You were subject to an unconstitutional search and seizure, and the resulting evidence is inadmissible.
To learn more about the possible defenses available in your case, contact a military sex crimes attorney from our firm. (Learn more about sex crime defenses.)
Federal Military Sex Crime Convictions
There also are circumstances when you may face federal criminal charges concerning an alleged military sex crime. You may face federal sex crime charges if your conduct violated a federal statute, if the alleged offense took place on federal property (such as a military base), and if your alleged criminal conduct crossed state lines or national borders. One of the most common federal sex offenses is child pornography, which is proactively investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI also searches for human and sexual trafficking perpetrators.
If you are charged with a federal sex offense, a federal prosecutor will handle your case in a federal court. You will need to work with an experienced military sex crimes attorney who is experienced in representing individuals within the federal court system. Ned Barnett has been admitted to the bar for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, and the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Contact a Houston Military Sex Crimes Lawyer for Advice Today
If you are a current military member stationed or training in Texas and you have been accused of committing a sex offense, do not wait to call a lawyer. You should have a military sex crimes attorney by your side as soon as possible. Attorney Ned Barnett will protect your rights during a civilian police investigation. If a prosecutor moves forward with charges, attorney Barnett will fight hard for the best possible outcome in your case.
To learn more, schedule a free consultation by calling (713) 222-6767, or contacting us via our online form.