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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 27019
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Im being charged with article 134 adultery. My command has

Customer Question

I'm being charged with article 134 adultery. My command has asked that I plea guilty and accept basically the maximum punishments for an E-6 in the Marines. I'm on active duty. I have no prior Njp, court martial, or even counselings. My record for the last 10 years has been without any discretion or adjudications. The evidence against me is the testimony of a Marine who has plead guilty to sleeping with two of his subordinates and attempted to take his own life. He has been offered a plea deal to cooperate against me. He is alleging that we had an affair. The indirect evidence is an email sent years ago that is hypothetically sexually explicit. It does not admit any guilt whatsoever. My command is requesting that I plea guilty and accept reduction, restriction, and a possible other than honorable discharge. I have not made a single statement to anyone involving the charges.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

That is a tough one Staff Sergeant.

Tough since if you refuse NJP, you can bet this goes to court.

Tell me, what is the testimony of this Marine who would testify to be? Will they say they slept with you?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

His statement says we slept together. He admits he does not recall whe. Or where and is vague on timeframes. The email evidence is two years old.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Yea, that is a tough one...since if you take this to court, he will testify. And unless you can discredit him? You would be convicted. In my experience Maine members (court martial panel members) are astute and follow the law. If the government provides the eyewitness who claims to have slept with you, and there is evidence to corroborate? You have an uphill battle

The fact the email is old is not significant...if it corroborates the testimony it may be tough to rebut.

Now...if there is evidence that the witness is a liar and, more important, has a reason to lie now? Then perhaps you and a good lawyer can beat this.

But you have an uphill battle if the person who claims he slept with you will testify.

Now...if they want you plea guilty and take an OTH? Then it may well be worth the fight...particularly if you are not guilty.

But if you are guilty? Then you would not want to testify at trial (since that could lead to more punishment if you are convicted)...and in a case like this? To win you almost need to testify.

Now...I understand that he is offered a plea deal to testify against you...that can help. But my experience not so much...not unless you can point to some other reason why he is lying. If you can do that...if there is some other reason why he is lying, and you can point to it? then you may have a shot

I would sit down with an attorney who specializes in military law. The Marine lawyers you will get at court are energetic enough...but typically have zero experience. If you pay someone, you pay for the experience. There are MANY retired Marine lawyers who practice. I know most of them...they are all very good (the ones I know)...I would contact a few and discuss this in detail with them...if you are facing OTH and loss of pension?? It may be worth hiring one for the fight

P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 27019
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He thinks I blew the whistle. I did initially but the oic ignored my allegation and nothing was done. His motivation is he thinks I ruined his life by telling his wife he was cheating when his subordinate actually sent her pictures. His court martial was reduced from general to special because of his testimony against me.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Man...that is tough. He told his wife? That will be tough to deal with at court...that is, you would have to prove that he is lying at court AND that he lied to his wife about this.

But avoiding a GCM is a pretty significant carrot...

You may want to take the court just to avoid the OTH...if you can escape the court without a discharge? Then you would most likely NOT get an OTH...they can give an OTH after a court with no discharge, but it is very difficult to do...and typically the command will not pursue that option

P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 27019
Experience: Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
P. Simmons and other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

One of his marines who plead guilty sent media evidence. Cid involved and proved it wasn't me. My command demanding I make a statement. Been on legal hold for 4 months still no charges preferred. Was offered this 'deal' to avoid spcm. His marines were both reduced two ranks at scm for these offenses. He thinks I started it so he wants me to suffer too.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
But he told his wife...how do you explain that (if he is lying)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He did not tell her. She got a fb message from an anonymous source. That is when he tried to take his own life.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Hmm....that makes it more interesting. But did he later admit to her? Or do you know?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure if he admitted after. I know she's divorcing and his forfeiture goes to her. She wasn't in the same state when the info was sent.

Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
See...that is the info you need to make the decisions you need to make.

I would sure be talking to civilian lawyers.

Again, you are in a tough spot...it sounds like they are setting you up for that OTH...if so? Then taking the court may be the best way to go....again, if you can avoid the discharge at court you basically win (since you would likely get a general discharge)

The other option you have is to try and negotiate a NJP deal where you are guaranteed to get a general discharge. You would need your lawyer to help you negotiate that.

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P. Simmons
P. Simmons
Military Lawyer
27019 Satisfied Customers
Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.