Have You been accused of sexual harassment in the military?
Addressing claims of sexual harassment in the military has become a top priority for both lawmakers and the military’s top brass. If you are a service member who is facing accusations of sexual harassment, you need a knowledgeable and dedicated defense attorney. David Hendrickson has the experience and skill to defend you against these allegations. He has a complete and thorough understanding of the administrative and court-martial processes as well as the passion to defend your career as a service member.
How Does The Military Defines Sexual Harassment?
The Department of Defense defines sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and offensive sexual comments or gestures that:
- is made a term or condition of a person’s job, pay, or career
- is used as a basis for career or employment decisions
- has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or
- creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. The conduct must be so pervasive or severe that a reasonable person would perceive, and the victim does perceive, the environment as offensive.
Sexual harassment can occur through any form of communication, including electronic, social media, and/or in-person. Let us explain how this legal definition may apply to a specific sexual harassment case.
What Are Your Rights If You’ve Been Accused of Military Sexual harassment?
An allegation of sexual harassment brought to the attention of the command is required to be investigated. Unless the allegation is part of a larger law enforcement investigation, it will be investigated and handled administratively by the command. The command appointed investigator will not be a law enforcement agent or officer. It will be a commissioned officer pulled from their normal duties to investigate you. Although these investigators are not typically familiar with the tricks and traps employed by law enforcement, they take a similar approach. They will presume you are guilty and try to find any evidence they can to prove it. They will submit findings and recommendations to the commander, which will likely skew even innocent facts against you. During the investigation, the investigator will inevitably approach you for a statement.
Under Article 31(b) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), no active service member may be interrogated or be requested to make a statement about the suspected offense without being informed of the nature of the accusation, being informed that s/he does not have to make a statement, and that any statement made may be used as evidence against him or her at court-martial. The Fifth and Sixth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution also provide service members with the right to an attorney, as explained in Military Rules of Evidence (MRE) 305(c). These rights also apply to administrative command interrogations.
Any investigator who approaches you to make a statement about an offense you are suspected of committing will have you fill out a rights advisement form. The form will inform you of the suspected offense and your rights. It will contain the options to remain silent, request an attorney, or waive your rights and make a statement. The investigator may make it seem like it is not a big deal to waive your rights, and many service members make the fatal mistake of making a statement before speaking with a lawyer. It is advisable to speak with an attorney before even thinking about speaking to any investigator.
If you’re an active military member and you’ve been accused of Sexual Harassment, Don’t Wait. Call Us Now!