Consensual Sex Crimes in the U.S. Armed Forces
A civilian cannot be charged with a sex crime in the event that the other person who was involved in the sex act was in consent. Provided that the other party was of the age of legal consent and was physically and mentally capable of consenting, the fact that he or she was in agreement in regards to engaging in sexual relations makes it impossible for criminal charges to be filed. The same is not true, however, of members of the United States Armed Forces. Under the provisions of Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship with another service member can lead to criminal charges, with the possibility of a conviction that could result in confinement, forfeiture of pay, demotion in pay grade and even punitive discharge.
Article 134 generally prohibits any type of conduct which would tend to cause a deterioration of good order in the Armed Forces or which would make it difficult or impossible to maintain proper discipline. While service members continue to be human beings with emotions and desires, there is a necessity to maintain order in the ranks in order to facilitate military operations. For this reason, the military justice system takes a tough stance against fraternization and the conduct of personal relationships which could impede operations and result in a breakdown of discipline.
What Constitutes Fraternization in the Military
The charge of fraternization is broad and may include cases in which a commissioned officer becomes unnecessarily friendly with an enlisted service member, but it may also be filed in situations where a sexual or romantic relationship is being engaged in by personnel. It may also be filed in some cases of adultery, since Article 134 also prohibits conduct which would tend to bring discredit upon the Armed Forces. A fraternization charge has the potential to ruin your future and to undermine everything you have worked so hard to achieve. Don't let this happen to you! Hire a military criminal defense attorney from McCormack & McCormack to fight for you!