Denver, CO Martial Law Blog

Monday, September 17, 2018

When Civil Lawsuit Allegations Lead to Military Investigations

Q: Is adultery a crime in the military?

The prosecution of crimes in the military justice system can be drastically different from the prosecution of crimes in the civilian court system. What they do have in common is the accused’s right to hire their own attorney.

For military cases, that means hiring a skilled civilian military defense attorney instead of accepting the free trial defense counsel provided by the government. Not only is the free defense attorney employed by the same government entity that is prosecuting you, but they are often overworked and inexperienced and don’t have access to necessary resources for a quality defense.

Sometimes, lawsuits in a civil court system-- and the allegations contained against service members therein-- prompt military investigations that may lead to disciplinary action in the military justice system.

Such may be the case for an Army special forces major whose ex-wife filed a civil “revenge porn” lawsuit "that accuses him and his lover of posting embarrassing ‘revenge porn’ photos of her online because he didn't like paying child support".

Revenge porn is a felony in North Carolina since 2015.  In addition, the lawsuit which is reportedly seeking more than $110,000 in monetary damages, alleges:

  • libel

  • infliction of emotional distress

  • criminal conversation (having sex with a married person)

  • alienation of affection.

According to the lawsuit, the lover is a female Lieutenant Colonel and the "illicit sexual and romantic affair" began when they were both at Fort Belvoir, in Virginia in 2016. They reportedly have since had a child of their own and live together. The ex-couple has two children.

According to the lawsuit, the pair engaged in a "coordinated campaign to harass and humiliate" the ex-wife by placing nude photos and defamatory statements and advertisements of and about the ex's sexual diseases and offering sexual favors on various internet websites.

In the civilian court system where dockets are often packed with divorce cases based on infidelity, adultery is so commonplace that it doesn't even an eyebrow in many states. But in the military, adultery is a crime.

Military computer crimes are also taken seriously. So, when service members use personal or government computers for improper purposes they may find themselves in legal hot water for breaking the complicated and often unknown computer use rules and regulations.

In the case at hand, 1st Special Forces Command reportedly "is aware of the allegations… and an investigation is underway".

If you are, or believe you might be, under investigation by the military or facing a military court martial, the experts at Aviso Law, LLC can help you. Contact us today for a free consultation.

From our offices in Colorado Springs and Denver, Colorado, we represent service members of all ranks, in all branches, anywhere in the world.


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