Statutory Rape Attorney

The experienced team of court martial attorneys at Aviso Law LLC regularly represent military members accused of statutory rape.  Due to the circumstances in which it usually arises, statutory rape is common among civilians and military alike.  Statutory rape falls under the category of military sexual assault under Article 120, UCMJ, and is a very serious offense.  Our Colorado attorneys are knowledgeable and experienced in representing clients in the ever-changing area of military sexual assault law.

What is Considered Statutory Rape in the Military?

Statutory rape is defined as intercourse with an individual that is too young to consent.  An individual under the age of 16 is considered a child under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) and is therefore incapable of consenting to sex.  The UCMJ divides statutory rape into different categories based on age.  A military member will be charged differently depending upon if the child is under the age of 12 or between the ages of 12 and 15.  Statutory rape of a child under the age of 12 is a more serious offense.  

The law views children as lacking the capacity to make sexual decisions and therefore, even if a child agrees to sexual intercourse, he or she is not considered to have consented to it.  This leads to a major problem for many military members.  Often, military members in these situations are under the impression that if the other party agrees to sex, then they are not committing rape.  While consent is usually a defense, it must be considered reasonable under the circumstances.  In cases of statutory rape, a minor is incapable of consenting; therefore the defense cannot be used unless there was a mistake of fact.  A military member might mistakenly believe that they have obtained consent if they make a mistake of fact as to the other party’s age.  If the member reasonably, but mistakenly, believes that the other party has reached the age of 16, this may be a valid defense to statutory rape.  This mistaken belief is only useful when the member believes that the person has reached the age of 16, it is not a valid defense for rape of a child under the age of 12.

Sexual assault is a serious crime and can expose members to severe criminal punishments.  A recent change to military law has instituted mandatory minimum sentences for these crimes.  This means that if convicted, you will be punished at the very least by dismissal or dishonorable discharge.  Although these cases are rare, if convicted of a statutory rape of a child under the age of 12, you could face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  Therefore, you need the representation of a veteran court martial attorney, as opposed to inexperienced military appointed counsel, to give you the best chance of staying out of prison.  

Often times, it is younger military members that are accused of statutory rape crimes.  These men and women are often adjusting to military life and are sometimes unaware or confused by the law.  These crimes are usually committed without malicious intentions but end up effecting the young member’s liberty, reputation and career.  Our court martial lawyers do their best to assist our clients in avoiding these negative effects.

If you are a military member, have been accused of statutory rape and are facing a court martial, the Denver and Colorado Springs attorneys at Aviso Law LLC can help you wherever you are stationed.  Contact us today by calling (719) 247-3111 for a free consultation. 

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