UCMJ Article 120d Abusive Sexual Contact

Abusive sexual contact is a specific charge under UCMJ Article 120. Article 120 covers rape, sexual assault, physical abuse with sexual contact, threats of physical abuse with sexual contact, inappropriate touching, or unwanted sexual advances.

“Abusive Sexual Contact” – UCMJ Article 120d

Under the UCMJ, “abusive sexual contact” includes forms of sexual contact like groping, touching, or forcing someone else to touch the male or female genitalia, anus, inner thigh, buttocks, or breasts. The touching can be direct or through clothing and can be carried out using any part of the body or with an object.

The contact must be committed with the purpose of abusing, degrading, harassing, or humiliating another person or to arouse another person. Finally, “abusive sexual contact” differs from basic “sexual contact” in that the contact either (1) caused bodily harm, (2) was carried out under threat of bodily harm to the victim or someone else, or (3) was carried out on someone who was unconscious or incapable of giving consent. The threat of bodily harm under “abusive sexual contact” does not include threat of death, grievous bodily harm, or kidnapping. Those more serious threats are considered “aggravated sexual contact.”

Accusations of abusive sexual contact can have severe consequences, but there are ways to fight back. Protect your rights by choosing to defend your name against these charges. The Law Office of Garrison A. Wood will stand by you in defending against charges of abusive sexual contact.

How to defend against abusive sexual contact charges

Facing any charges under the UCMJ can be stressful, but abusive sexual contact charges are often fraught with emotion. Don’t lose hope. There are a number of ways to fight back against abusive sexual contact charges, including:

  • Proving your innocence – One of the most effective defenses is proving true innocence. A strong alibi could show that there was no way a defendant could have committed the crime.
  • Wrongful accusation – Unfortunately, not all sexual assault accusations are truthful and are sometimes wrongfully made for revenge or to ruin an enemy.
  • Consent – To be found guilty of abusive sexual contact, the contact must have been committed without the consent of the victim. Proving that the victim gave consent can negate the charges.
  • Lack of evidence – Abusive sexual contact charges can be challenging to prosecute because they are usually based on hearsay without much physical evidence.

Recent Case Results

Summary: An Air Force Captain was accused of a number of sex crimes in U.S. federal and military courts.

Outcome: Charges dismissed.

Summary: A recruiter was charged with sexual assault.

Outcome: Case dismissed after the Article 32 preliminary hearing.

Summary: A U.S. service member was charged with sexual assault by his wife.

Outcome: Charges dismissed.

Attorney Garrison A. Wood is a published author, and the attorneys at his firm are frequently referenced by the media for their military legal knowledge. Fighting charges under the UCMJ is a complex process, but with a strong defense, no case is hopeless. Contact us today to schedule a free review of your case.

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