The stakes are high – you know that. You know that its not just your military career at stake, but your life. You are going through one of the most stressful, life-changing events you have ever experienced. Its all or nothing – and winning is everything. This, more than any other reason, is why you need an experienced lawyer standing by your side. Newsom & Gapasin has the experience and the skills to get you through this difficult time and to afford you that fighting chance in court.
If you are facing an investigation or if you are pending charges for any offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, whether its for nonjudicial punishment (e.g., Article 15, Office Hours, Mast or a Summary Courts-Martial), or for Special or General Courts-Martial, call or email Newsom & Gapasin, LLC as soon as possible.
Some of the military law cases and courts-martial we have defended include the following:
(Note: Case results can be verified by court records online)
June 13, 2018, U.S. v. E-1, United States Marine Corps, Quantico, Virginia. Private is accused of the sexual assault of another Marine at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Private is also accused of violating an order not to drink alcohol. Private had already been ordered separated for prior misconduct. Following these new allegations, Private is placed in pretrial confinement right exactly on his EAS date. The Government then prefers charges for sexual assault under Article 120 and the orders violation to a Special Court-Martial. The charges are later referred to trial. However, following extensive discovery and expert witness demands, and after Freeburg aggressively challenges the prosecution on various fronts, the Government instead offers the client an administrative separation instead of proceeding to a court-martial trial. RESULT: ALL CHARGES DISMISSED. NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Federal Conviction.
May 23, 2018, U.S. v. E-6, United States Marine Corps, Camp Pendleton, San Diego, California. Staff Sergeant is accused of attempting to defraud the U.S. Government by collecting reimbursement for in-home respite care for his autistic son while stationed for 18 months at Twentynine Palms, California. Government also accuses him of forging his signature on official federal documents, conspiring to commit fraud with his wife and sister-in-law and false official statement by claiming care was occurring in his home when CID claimed it was not occurring. Charges are preferred to a General Court-Martial and Staff Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin aggressively approaches the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing by requesting multiple employees with the Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP). Statements with the EFMP personnel reflect backbiting and numerous accusations against each other. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) investigations were even initiating amidst claims of employees that others were targeting African-American families and claiming fraud. Gapasin portrayed his client as being caught in this crossfire. Just prior to the Article 32, the Government dismissed the charges but then initiated separation for Gapasin’s client. With 13 years in the Marine Corps and still asserting his innocence, client continues to retain Gapasin to represent him. At the separation board, Gapasin focuses on a lack of knowledge of actions taken by his wife thereby proving he could not have intended fraud, as well as the existence of a forensic handwriting examination of his client’s signature that illustrated inconclusive findings as to whether his client forged documents. RESULT: Client is FULLY RETAINED, this is after the original General Court-Martial charges are DISMISSED.
May 2, 2018, U.S. v. E-6, United States Air Force, Ramstein, Germany. The Government investigates this Tech Sergeant for over 6 months for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow airman’s spouse. Tech Sergeant’s command had flagged and counseled him, informing him that they planned to Court-Martial him with offenses that could result in registering as a sex-offender. Tech Sergeant hires GCW Law to represent him and to help him “prove that he was innocent” of all charges. Mr. Capovilla, along with the GCW’s investigator, David Anegada, interview several witnesses who all inform Capovilla that the complaining witness has a reputation for lying. Capovilla uncovers dozens of specific lies told by the complaining witness. One such lie included how the complaining witness told one of her friends that Capovilla’s client actually never assaulted her. With this information, Mr. Capovilla discusses his client’s case with OSI and the military prosecutor. The Government eventually agrees to drop the case in its entirety. RESULT: NO Court-Martial, NO Federal Conviction, and NO Sex Offender Registration.
May 1, 2018, U.S. v. E-6, United States Army, Fort Benning, Georgia. Staff Sergeant (SSG) is accused of sexually touching underage girls in his neighborhood as they wait for the school bus. He is also accused of exposing his penis to another underage girl in the same neighborhood around the same time as the alleged grabbing. SSG purportedly runs around an undercover investigator while indecently fondling his penis. CID immediately apprehends the SSG and takes him to the CID station where they interrogate SSG for nearly two hours. During the interrogation, CID is able to illicit several damning admissions from SSG. CID then interviews several witnesses and accusers who participate in a photographic line-up. Several of the accusers identify the SSG in the line-up. SSG is subsequently charged with violating Articles 120 (Abusive Sexual Contact), 120c (indecent exposure) and 134 (indecent act). SSG immediately retains GCW Law to represent him. Mr. Mickey Williams represents the client at the Article 32 hearing and is able to persuade the preliminary hearing officer to recommend an alternate disposition other than a Court-Martial. Shortly after receipt of this successful recommendation, the client is arrested for assault against an NCO and for pointing a firearm at another NCO. Because of this subsequent alleged misconduct, the Government proceeds to refer the case to a General Court-Martial. Mickey Williams files several motions to suppress and exclude vital pieces of evidence. Williams was able to suppress a photo lineup, several statements by his client made to CID, and he was able to convince the Court to dismiss specifications. At trial, Williams aggressively cross-examined the Government witnesses and aggressively attacked their credibility. Once the Government rested its case, Williams moved the Court to dismiss the Abusive Sexual Contact charge because the Government was unable to produce any evidence of intent. The Court agreed with Williams. RESULT: Abusive Sexual Contact DISMISSED and found NOT GUILTY of indecent exposure. ALL Article 120 charges were DISMISSED or client found NOT GUILTY. As a result, NO Sex Offender Registration.
April 19, 2018, U.S. v. E-6, United States Army, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. Staff Sergeant hires GCW Law after discovering that he is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a fellow Soldier off-duty. CID pressures the Staff Sergeant to provide an incriminating statement and even tells him that he would end up a registered sex-offender if he did not cooperate. Over the course of the next 4-5 months, Capovilla works hard to prove to the client’s command that the complaining witness was not honest about the alleged sexual assault and that she had lied to protect her relationship with her boyfriend. After conducting significant pretrial investigation, Mr. Capovilla discovers that the complaining witness only claimed sexual assault after her boyfriend found text messages on her phone between her and the client. A short time later, the military prosecutor determines that the case could not be prosecuted because the complaining witness no longer wanted to participate following the investigated conducted by GCW Law. RESULT: NO Court-Martial, NO Federal Conviction and NO Sex-Offender Registration.
April 14, 2018, U.S. v. E-7, United States Army, Vicenza, Italy. Sergeant First Class with 18 years of service is accused of aggravated assault, the attempted strangulation of his wife and the aggravated assault of his daughter as well as other alleged physical assaults. The Government prefers charges against the Sergeant First Class which are later referred to a General Court Martial. Client faces a potential Dishonorable Discharge, years in prison and the loss of his retirement. After extensive, aggressive litigation, Mr. Freeburg convinces the Government to dismiss the strangulation allegation. Freeburg reveals a number of crushing evidentiary problems with the Government’s case. As a result, the Government agrees to a no-discharge, no-separation deal in the re-referral to a Special Court Martial, which is a lesser disposition compared with the General Court-Martial the client was facing. With this deal, Freeburg protects the client’s retirement. RESULT: NO DISCHARGE, and client is allowed to RETIRE. Other minimal punishment.
April 12, 2018, US v. E-3, United States Marine Corps, Bangor, Washington. Lance Corporal is under investigation for 8 months for allegedly sexually assaulting an underage girl. The Lance Corporal is removed from his platoon, placed in a disciplinary unit, and told that if convicted he would be a sex offender for the rest of his life. Moreover, his command refuses to provide him with any information about his case and leaves him guessing at how long he would be under investigation. Lance Corporal retains GCW Law. Only ten (10) days after hiring GCW Law, all charges against the client are dropped and NCIS completely dismisses the investigation. Mr. Capovilla, along with GCW’s investigator, David Anegada, obtain “smoking gun” evidence clearly proving that the complaining witness had informed the client that she was a 19-year old college girl who lived by herself in an apartment. Mr. Capovilla provides this information to NCIS and client is told that his command is not going to take any further action against him. RESULT: NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Federal Conviction, Client immediately returns back to duty.
April 3, 2018, U.S. v. E-5, United States Air Force, Robins AFB, Warner Robins, Georgia. Staff Sergeant in Reserves tests positive for barbiturates following a voluntary urinalysis in support of her officer commissioning package. Staff Sergeant claims she never wrongfully used prescription medication. She asserts that she innocently ingested the substance when provided the medication from her sister-in-law for a migraine headache. Air Force proceeds with separation. Staff Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin to represent her at the board. Gapasin aggressively argues the position of innocent ingestion and harps on the Government’s argument at closing when the Recorder argues, “we don’t know for sure whether she knew what she took.” Gapasin also argues that the seven (7) retention criteria were satisfied in light of several character letters Gapasin obtains for his client, to include one from a Vice-Wing Commander who was her former supervisor. RESULT: Fully Retained.
March 30, 2018, U.S. v. E-3, United States Marine Corps, Kāne’ohe Bay, Hawai’i. Lance Corporal is under investigation for allegedly violating Article 86, UCMJ, for leaving his unit without permission. Over the course of several months, LCpl informs his chain of command that he is suffering from a very serious hip injury that prevents him from carrying out his duties as a Marine. The Marine Corps does not provide adequate medical care and misdiagnoses the LCpl’s injury several times. LCpl, knowing that his injury is far worse than the Marine Corps will admit, flies home to see a civilian surgeon. The surgeon informs him that he has several torn muscles in his hip and that he requires immediate surgery. Upon returning to his unit, the LCpl is accused of AWOL. LCpl retains GCW Law. Mr. Capovilla and Mr. Gapasin discuss the case in detail with the client’s family, chain of command, and the military prosecutor. Mr. Capovilla strenuously argues that the Marine Corps is responsible for the client’s absence and that it should take responsibility for his lack of medical care. In turn, despite having a drafted, prepared Charge Sheet, the Marine Corps agrees to drop all charges. RESULT: NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement, and LCpl returns home to family with a clean record.
March 28, 2018, U.S. v. E-3, Marine Air Station, Iwakuni, Japan. Lance Corporal is charged with one charge and two specifications of Violating a Lawful General Order in violation of Article 92, UCMJ; one charge and two specifications of Maltreatment, in violation of Article 93, UCMJ; one charge and five specifications of Assault Consummated by a Battery, in violation of Article 128, UCMJ; and one charge and one specification of Obstructing Justice, in violation of Article 134, UCMJ. In sum, LCpl is facing up to 10 years in prison, reduction to E-1, total forfeitures, and a federal conviction. LCpl retains GCW Law. Mr. Capovilla immediately contacts the military prosecutor and explains that several of the charges were multiplicious and greatly exaggerate his client’s criminality. After discussing the case thoroughly with the LCpl, his family, and the military prosecutor, the Marine Corps drops all charges and specifications and agree not to prosecute the client. RESULT: NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement and NO Discharge.
March 27, 2018, U.S. v. E-3, Fort Benning, Georgia. PFC is under investigation for over 6 months for sexual assault and abusive sexual contact. PFC’s command flags him, counsels him, and informs him that they will Court-Martial him for the above stated offenses. PFC hires Mr. Capovilla to represent him and to “get [him] out of the dark,” from the investigation. Shortly after being retained, Capovilla informs CID that the client revoked all consent to search or seize his phone or personal belongings. He files a preservation request requiring the military prosecutor to preserve possible exculpatory evidence. Mr. Capovilla meets with witnesses and uncovers the truth that the complaining witness had a boyfriend at the time of the assault and had lied about having consensual sex with the client to protect her reputation in the unit and her relationship. In light of these discoveries, the Government drops the case. RESULT: NO Court-Martial, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration, and NO Separation Board. PFC is back at work and ready to PCS to his next duty station.
March 26, 2018, U.S. v. O-1, United States Army, Fort Benning, Georgia. Second Lieutenant (2LT) in Officer Candidate School (OCS) is charged with 22 Specifications of Article 86, UCMJ, Failure to Go to Appointed Place of Duty, 4 Specifications of Article 92, Failure to Obey a Lawful Order, and 12 Specifications of Article 134, Disorderly Conduct, Drunkenness. In sum, the 2LT was being charged with 38 specifications of misconduct in violation of three difference Articles of the UCMJ. If convicted, the 2LT faced up to 10 years in prison, a possible Dishonorable Discharge, and total forfeitures of pay. Upon receiving the charges, Mr. Capovilla immediately met with the 2LT and his family, discussed every detail of every charge with them, and drafted a letter to the convening authority asking that the convening authority dismiss all charges and allow the 2LT to attend alcohol rehabilitation. After in-depth negotiations with both the military prosecutor and the chain of command, the convening authority agreed to DISMISS ALL CHARGES upon the 2LT’s completion of alcohol rehabilitation. RESULT: NO Court-Martial, NO Article 15, No separation, and NO Federal Conviction. All 3 charges and their 38 specifications have been dismissed and 2LT is hoping to apply for law school next year.
March 22, 2018, U.S. v. GS, Magistrate Court, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Physical Therapist employed by U.S. Army, Fort Leonard Wood is accused by a female Soldier of inappropriate sexual contact. Physical Therapist is suspended from his duties and he denies allegations of sexual assault. He retains GCW Law to represent him. Mr. Gapasin provides advice to the client on dealing with his employers and how best to approach the situation and other personnel with the goal of having the case dismissed. Gapasin also contacts the OSJA and informs the Government that the firm now represents this client. Within a few days of providing notice of GCW Law’s representation, the case is dismissed. RESULT: NO Charges in Magistrate Court, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration.
March 15, 2018, U.S. v. E-1, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Specialist who was formerly enlisted in the Coast Guard goes AWOL from Fort Leonard Wood. Specialist is fearful of his Drill Sergeant, who had previously held a knife to the Specialist’s throat threatening to kill him. He retains GCW Law to represent him. Mr. Gapasin contacts his client’s Company Commander, informing him that his client would return to Fort Leonard Wood. Gapasin hints, however, that there would be consequences of the Company Commander’s Drill Sergeant and the maltreatment and death threats Gapasin’s client had to endure. Mr. Gapasin and the client hoped that the unit would simply discharge his client without be placed in confinement or being charged in a court-martial. All the client wanted was to be discharged with no less than a General. Client did not want to continue with his career in the U.S. Army. RESULT: After over 30 days of being AWOL, Client is successfully discharged from the U.S. Army. NO Pre-Trial Confinement upon his return to the unit, NO Court-Martial, NO Federal Conviction.
March 5, 2018, U.S. v. O-1, Randolph Air Force Base, Texas. Second Lieutenant in Flight School is accused of conduct unbecoming an officer, indecent language, fraternization, stolen valor, and various ethical violations under the Code of Federal Regulations. 2Lt is alleged to have numerous YouTube videos where he could be viewed wearing his Air Force uniform, a patch he was not entitled to wear, drinking alcohol and using vulgar and obscene language. Additionally, 2Lt was accused of engaging in an inappropriate relationship with an enlisted crew member and that he solicited the sale of his issued military equipment. Command immediately initiates an investigation and removes 2Lt from flight school. 2Lt retains Gapasin, Capovilla, and Williams, LLP. Mr. Mickey Williams investigates the evidence purportedly gathered against the client. Williams engages the OSJA and begins communications with the Command and Staff Judge Advocate. Williams points out problems with the evidence and the sloppy investigation that was conducted. Williams advocates for his client’s innocence and the mitigating circumstances and persuades the Command from pursuing federal charges. RESULT: Case DISMISSED. NO Court-Martial, NO Article 15, NO Federal Conviction. Client allowed to continue Flight School.
December 12, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, Fort Benning, Georgia. Staff Sergeant who served in the U.S. Army for eight years (8) as a Special Operator is charged with two specifications of larceny and two specifications of wrongful use of a controlled substance. Mr. Capovilla represents Staff Sergeant at his Article 32 Preliminary Hearing and the Hearing Officer (“PHO”) makes a favorable recommendation. Despite this, the Convening Authority refers the case to a General Court-Martial. At trial, Capovilla proves that his client’s unit had unlawfully and unjustly punished him by confining him to a basement for eight (8) days with no medical treatment despite having several diagnosed medical conditions, to include insomnia, PTSD and severe back pain. Capovilla also proves that his client’s chain of command further punished him by unlawfully banishing him from his unit. As a result, the Military Judge awards Capovilla’s client with over 100 days of confinement credit. Additionally, the Military Judge admonishes the Command from the bench by stating that the Command had “broken” the Soldier and how he, the Military Judge, “refused to break the Staff Sergeant further”. RESULT: NO Confinement, NO reduction in rank, NO discharge. Capovilla’s client completed his Medical Board and is leaving the Army with an Honorable Discharge.
November 17, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, Army Missouri National Guard, Springfield, Missouri. Staff Sergeant is accused of the wrongful use and possession of THC following a urinalysis. THC is a substance commonly found in marijuana or cannabis. Additionally, a few months after Staff Sergeant popped hot, his home was raided by local law enforcement on the suspicion of trafficking and the illegal possession of marijuana, methamphetamines and possibly heroin or cocaine. Army National Guard initiated a separation board and Staff Sergeant retained Mr. Gapasin to represent him. At the board, Gapasin argued that a multitude of mitigating factors warranted against his client’s separation. These factors included his time of service of fifteen (15) years, a number of awards and achievements and the extremely low level of THC found in his system of 20 ng/mL, just 5 ng/mL above the DOD cutoff level. Gapasin harped on the fact that his client was medically prescribed THC just 3 months after the hot urinalysis and was therefore legally justified to take it shortly after. Gapasin also pointed to the client’s debilitating health situation and how loss of his health insurance with an involuntary separation could result in the collateral consequence of a life-threatening situation. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED. Although the use was found by the board beyond a preponderance of the evidence, that separation was NOT warranted.
October 17, 2017, U.S. v. E-5, Misawa AFB, Japan. Staff Sergeant is accused of the use and possession of illegally-obtained valium. Accusations of his illegal use are made shortly following a urinalysis that was conducted which resulted in a positive finding. Intensive investigation is made against the Staff Sergeant and notably against his wife, a nurse practitioner who purportedly had access to medications through the Air Force pharmacy system as well as through other channels. Charges are preferred against the Staff Sergeant and he retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin immediately files his request for the appointment of an expert toxicologist for purposes of trial. Primary defense, however, is innocent ingestion, in that the accused innocently took or ingested medications without the knowledge that the medication was taken illegally. Government requests that Gapasin stipulate to a number of witnesses in order to lay a proper foundation for entering evidence at trial against the client. Government also requests that Gapasin permit two important OSI agents to testify via video rather than be physically present. Gapasin rejects all Government requests and aggressively proceeds to trial. RESULT: ALL Charges are DISMISSED just before trial. NO Federal Drug Conviction, NO Confinement, NO Discharge.
October 16, 2017, U.S. v. E-1, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Private is accused of molesting his 6 year-old stepdaughter after she tells a bizarre story to her mother about her stepfather Private “checking her temperature in her bottom” with his finger. She further alleges that he gave her a “white oval pill,” placed a towel over her head, and put a sleep mask on her face before committing the act. Private is charged with rape of a child under Article 120 and faces maximum punishment of life confinement. Private retains Mr. Williams. Mr. Williams files a motion to exclude certain inflammatory evidence the Government intends to submit at trial which Williams argued was misleading to the jury. The Court grants the majority of Williams’ motion, significantly undermining the Government’s case. At trial, Williams cross-examines the Mother who is impeached with a significant prior inconsistent statement she made concerning her daughter’s behavior the night the incident allegedly occurred. The Government is unable to rehabilitate her credibility. Additionally, Mr. Williams persuades the Court to sustain objections to much of the Government’s evidence leaving them with little more than the original accusation to support their theory of the case. Twenty minutes after the Court closes for deliberations, it reopens and announces the following verdict: RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY of Rape of a Child. NO Confinement, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration.
October 16, 2017, U.S. v. O-3, Camp Zama, Japan. Captain dentist is accused of the possession of illegal drugs, false official statement and the solicitation of others to distribute unlawfully prescribed drugs. Allegations were based on using his position as a dentist to illegally obtain drugs. Captain accepted an Article 15 but then faced separation with possibility of an “Other Than Honorable Discharge” in a subsequent Board Of Inquiry (“BOI”) initiated against him. Captain retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin seeks to argue how his client had overcome the reason for the show cause proceeding by emphasizing the client’s performance and exemplary conduct since the initiation of the investigation against him. Gapasin drafts and submits a rebuttal to the Initiation of Elimination arguing that the elimination action be terminated and that he be retained pursuant to Army Regulation 600-8-4. Client prepares an affidavit and includes in the submission. Gapasin focuses on client’s good military character, reasons he should be retained and how he has matured as an Army Officer and dentist. Following submission of Gapasin’s rebuttal, the Convening Authority reconsiders the initiation of the Show Cause Board. RESULT: Elimination Action TERMINATED, Captain overcomes reason for the show cause proceeding. FULLY RETAINED, NO DISCHARGE.
October 13, 2017, U.S. v. O-2, Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas. First Lieutenant is accused of sexually assaulting a female Private. Private alleges that following a military ball, the Lieutenant and a Captain met her at a bar and conspired to bring her back to the Lieutenant’s apartment. She alleged that the purpose was to sexually assault her while she was incapable of consenting due to alcohol. She claimed very little recollection at his apartment due to her intoxication. She claimed to remember the Lieutenant being on top of her and also forcing her to perform oral sex while the Captain observed. Her memories were “hazy” and she only remembered pieces of the evening. The Government charges the Lieutenant with sexual assault and conspiracy to commit sexual assault. Lieutenant retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. At trial, Gapasin argues how the DNA evidence obtained through a forensic examination points to the co-accused Captain as the one who had sex with the Private. Gapasin also argues how the Private was afflicted with “alcohol myopia” which distorts perception and results in a misperception of the context of events, in that she believed the client was having sex with her when it was actually the Captain. Gapasin cross-examines the alleged victim, later arguing how her responses were evasive and failed to provide the “evidentiary certainty” needed for the Government to satisfy its burden of proof. Gapasin not only attacks her perception, but her credibility as well due to her numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in interviews with the El Paso Police Department, the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) and CID. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL of All Charges and Specifications. NO Confinement, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration.
October 5, 2017, U.S. v. E-5, Whiteman AFB, Knob Noster, Missouri. Staff Sergeant is accused of rape by former girlfriend after he messages her several years later and apologizes for an incident. She alleges that as they ended their relationship the Staff Sergeant forcibly raped her in the shower, taking away her virginity “on the way out the door.” Staff Sergeant is charged with rape under Article 120 and faces maximum punishment of life confinement. Staff Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin. Gapasin files a lengthy motion to elicit evidence under MRE 412, which is akin to what is commonly known as the “Rape Shield Laws.” Gapasin moves the court to elicit fifteen (15) separate issues under MRE 412 exceptions regarding the alleged victim’s prior sexual behavior. The Court grants a majority of Gapasin’s motion. At trial, Gapasin cross-examines the alleged victim, revealing her misperception of events and her motives for reporting the incident as rape, even though she apparently consents to losing her virginity. Gapasin also elicits the alleged victim’s true feelings for his client, and how his abrupt termination of their relationship before his PCS to Cannon AFB clearly led to her disappointment and to a subsequent unsuccessful relationship. Broken down following her cross, and during the Government’s attempt to rehabilitate her on redirect, she concedes and testifies, “I understand why there’s doubt.” RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL for Rape. No Confinement, No Federal Conviction, No Sex Offender Registration.
October 1, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, Fort Benning Georgia. Government initiates a separation board against a Staff Sergeant after 12 years of service. Government seeks to separate this NCO for failing the APFT on two consecutive occasions. At the time of the APFT failures, Staff Sergeant is suffering from significant knee pain that inhibited his ability to perform well during the test. Wanting to be a good Soldier, Staff Sergeant did not go on profile but instead received treatment for his injury from Army medical staff. Mr. Capovilla aggressively defended his client, arguing that he was suffering from an otherwise undocumented medical issue. Because of this medical issue, the unit would be unable to separate Capovilla’s client. Capovilla consequently convinced his client’s Brigade Commander to terminate and dismiss the board. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED. No loss of benefits, no prejudicial discharge.
September 12, 2017, U.S. v. E-4, Fort Benning, Georgia. Specialist is charged with dereliction of duty in an Article 15 proceeding. Approximately one week before the first reading, a Soldier on the Specialist’s team is discovered to have an ammunition round in his possession after a range. The command wants to blame the Specialist for the unaccounted-for round alleging that the Specialist failed to properly check his Soldier’s gear before exiting the range. Mr. Capovilla represents the Specialist and conducts a counter-investigation that produces eye witness testimony that his client had, in fact, conducted all necessary searches and that he was not derelict in his duties. In negotiations, Capovilla argues for the Article 15 to be dismissed. RESULT: CHARGES DISMISSED, Article 15 terminated, NO rank reduction, NO forfeiture of pay, NO reprimand.
August 25, 2017, U.S. v. O-2, Fort Benning, Georgia. Second Lieutenant is charged with forcible sodomy and assault of his live-in girlfriend. The complaining witness alleges that the 2LT came home from work and forces her to have anal sex with him. Complaining witness also alleged that the Second Lieutenant choked her during intercourse without permission. Through cross-examination, Mr. Capovilla revealed that the complaining witness had lied to the investigating police officer on at least six different occasions about the facts of the case. Further, during the same line of questioning, Capovilla was able to establish that the complaining witness and the client had a fight days before the alleged assault which supported the client’s position that the complaining witness was fabricating the story to get back at him. Mr. Capovilla called the investigating officer to the stand who testified that the complaining witness had lied to him about many different aspects of the case. Further, Capovilla was able to show that the complaining witness had made several similar false claims against other soldiers. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications, NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement, NO Sex Offender Registration.
August 10, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, F.E. Warren AFB, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Tech Sergeant is accused by ex-wife of rape after drinks at a resort hotel in Guam. She makes the allegation when she is speaking with her commander. She “unintentionally” makes an unrestricted report of rape when discussing her concerns about being medically discharged from the Air Force. She alleges that the Tech Sergeant violently raped her resulting in significant hip injuries that affected her PT and other matters. This “unintentional” reporting results in an investigation and the preferral of a charge of rape. Tech Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him in his court-martial. Gapasin attends the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing and argues that even with the low burden of proof at the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing, the Government fails to present sufficient evidence of “force” as is required for the offense of rape per the 2007-2012 version of the offense. The Preliminary Hearing Officer (PHO) agrees with Gapasin and recommends dismissal. However, whether prompted by her Special Victim Counsel (SVC) or someone else, the alleged victim provides a second interview with OSI. The Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) commits an ex parte violation by “unofficially” (as put by the SJA in an email) contacting the PHO and requesting his advice to conduct a re-hearing on behalf of the alleged victim. A second hearing is scheduled based on the alleged victim’s second statement to OSI. Gapasin objects on the basis of Unlawful Command Influence (UCI), the SJA’s ex parte violation and on other grounds. Gapasin preserves all objections should the Government refer the case to trial. Gapasin argues at the second Article 32 Preliminary Hearing that even with her second statement, the Government again fails to establish the “force” element of rape. He also notes contradictions and inconsistencies between both of her statements. Subsequently, the PHO issues another recommendation for dismissal. RESULT: Following two Article 32 Preliminary Hearings resulting in Recommendations For Dismissal, the Government DISMISSES the Charge and Specification of Rape.
July 17, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, Camp Henry, Daegu, South Korea. Staff Sergeant is charged with abusive sexual contact and attempted sexual assault of an intoxicated female Private. Incident started at a dance club in Seoul’s Itaewon district and ended at the Private’s barracks room on Army’s Yongsan Garrison. Two enlisted witnesses claimed to have seen the Staff Sergeant without his pants on and on top of or hovering above the incapacitated Private in her barracks room while alone. This was after she had vomited upon exiting a cab with the Staff Sergeant as they headed into the barracks. In addition to the two witnesses, barracks CCTV caught a video of the Staff Sergeant leaving her room by himself without his shoes on. Staff Sergeant’s saliva DNA was subsequently found on the inside of the Private’s bra. Charges are preferred against Staff Sergeant and he retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin travels to Camp Henry and aggressively cross-examines the two witnesses, revealing a number of questionable inconsistencies and contradictions. Cross-examination of their friendship also brings suspicion, though any motive to fabricate is difficult to discern. Gapasin also reveals through cross-examination that his client’s saliva DNA could have been transferred during consensual sexual behavior between the client and the Private in the taxi cab. Gapasin files a motion under MRE 412 to elicit certain consensual sexual behavior between him and the Private. Following the filing of the motion and after Gapasin’s initial discovery request, Private declines to participate any further in the court-martial. Government moves forward with the two witnesses, but their credibility is somewhat questionable. Because the Government proceeds to trial with the two witnesses, Defense opts to submit a Chapter 10 request for discharge. RESULT: Chapter 10 Request is APPROVED. NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement, NO Sex Offender Registration.
June 2, 2017, U.S. v. E-5, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. Special Forces Sergeant is charged with multiple specifications of domestic violence under Article 128. Charges are for assault and battery and aggravated assault, to include choking his ex-wife with both hands with a force likely to cause death or serious injury. Sergeant is also accused of pulling her hair, and grabbing the back of her neck with the intent of throwing her down the stairs. At trial, Mr. Capovilla aggressively cross-examines the Government investigator, revealing that the investigator did not report the incident accurately to the Soldier’s chain of command. Through cross-examination, Capovilla reveals that the investigator showed a clear bias in favor of the ex-wife by exaggerating the report to make her injuries look more severe, and even provided unsubstantiated details that proved to be false under cross-examination. Capovilla also reveals that the Government’s investigator was not interested in the truth, but only interested in making the client look like a criminal. After cross-examination, the “crooked” investigator storms out of the room and while in public throws her copy of the investigation onto the floor. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications. NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement.
May 5, 2017, U.S. v. E-4, Holloman AFB, New Mexico. Senior Airman is accused of the possession and use and limited distribution of several illegal Schedule I Controlled Substances, to include marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy and DMT. Fifteen other Airmen are implicated of the possession and use of these illegal substances to include others as well. Senior Airman retains Mr. Gapasin to take his case to trial in order to avoid a Federal Conviction for drug use, which could seriously affect any employment following his Air Force career. Gapasin pushes forward in this case with over 6000 pages of discovery and 15 co-defendants. Many of the Airmen take guilty pleas at the advice of their ADCs, others proceed to trial and are found guilty. Client’s case was moved to a later date by the Government so it could maximize the use of immunized witnesses whose trials have already been resolved or where they received a finding of guilty. Gapasin presses forward despite the several convictions against previously tried co-defendants. Just two duty days before trial, certain witnesses receive immunity and Gapasin interviews the witnesses revealing clear problems with the credibility of the Government’s “snitches.” Gapasin continues to press to trial. One day before trial, with Gapasin continuing to press, the Government acknowledges the clear problems in its case. RESULT: WITHDRAWAL and DISMISSAL of ALL Charges and Specifications ONE DAY before trial. NO Federal Drug Conviction, NO Confinement, NO Discharge.
April 4, 2017, U.S. v. E-4, Washington Navy Yards, D.C. Hospital Corpsman (HM3) is charged with multiple specifications of domestic violence under Article 128 for assault and battery, to include holding a knife to the throat of his girlfriend, dislocating her shoulder by throwing her down, slamming her face against the dashboard of a car multiple times, and dragging her from a parked car by her hair and then proceeding to whip her with the strap of her purse. He is also charged with wrongfully damaging the tires of a second alleged victim. Charges are preferred and he retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. At trial, Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the girlfriend, revealing that she lied to NCIS numerous times, even falsely wearing a sling to give credibility to her story even though her shoulder really was not dislocated. Gapasin reveals girlfriend’s true motives for revenge and to ruin client’s career with false allegations of assault. She admits to several lies from the stand and even storms off the witness stand and out of the courtroom while undergoing Gapasin’s cross-examination. When she returns, text messages reveal girlfriend’s intent to “have no mercy” and to ruin his career. Under cross-examination by Gapasin, she fully admits, “I didn’t care about my credibility then, I don’t care about my credibility now.” RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY to ALL Charges and Specifications. NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement.
March 29, 2017, U.S. v. E-1, Fort Eustis, Virginia. Private just out of basic is accused of sexual assault by civilian residing in Virginia Beach, VA. The accusations prevent Private from graduating. Private retains Mr. Gapasin. Gapasin immediately finds a polygrapher to conduct polygraph testing, per the client’s request. Gapasin closely consults with the polygrapher, a retired police officer. Together they prepare the “relevant questions” that needed to be answered. Client undergoes the two-hour polygraph and is successful as no deception is indicated. Gapasin forwards the results to the Virginia Beach Police Department, CID and the Staff Judge Advocate’s office. RESULT: Full Dismissal. NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement, NO sex offender registration.
March 9, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Staff Sergeant is accused of choking and pushing girlfriend down a flight of stairs after leaving a party. The Government alleges that Staff Sergeant also intentionally kicked open a door striking her in the face causing a serious gash on her head. She accuses the Staff Sergeant of striking her in the face with his hand and being drunk and disorderly. Staff Sergeant is charged with aggravated assault, two counts of assault consummated by a battery, and drunk and disorderly conduct. At trial, Mr. Williams aggressively cross-examines the Government witnesses. The witnesses admit that Williams’ client did not appear or act drunk. Additionally, Williams objects to much of the testimony that the Government tries to elicit from a paramedic and successfully prevents the Government from admitting crucial evidence. Mr. Williams also renders the Government’s expert witness useless by demonstrating that the expert is unable to recall important details due to the passage of time. The Government is unable to refresh her recollection. The Defense admits a photograph into evidence that was taken immediately after the alleged incident. The photo reveals that the Girlfriend’s wound was considerably minor, completely contrary to her previous claims. Mr. Williams actually calls the Girlfriend back to the stand during the Defense case-in-chief. She then testifies that the allegations are false and that the injuries she suffered were caused on accident. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY to ALL Charges and Specification. No Confinement, No Federal Conviction, No Punishment.
February 1, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. Security Forces Flight Chief (TSgt) is charged with providing a false official statement in an investigation against him. He is also charged with dereliction of duty for failing to maintain a professional relationship with one of his female Airmen. This is following a public flight outing in downtown Bury, St. Edmond. Charges are preferred and he retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin immediately files a Motion to Dismiss due to Unlawful Command Influence against client’s Commander. Motion is litigated, but case proceed to trial. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines female Airman, revealing perjury and even forcing her to confess that she gave a false official statement when she initially reported client. Gapasin questions multiple witnesses to dispel accusations of favoritism and unprofessional behavior. Gapasin also argues before Officer Panel how client’s sworn statement was not false in relation to text messages between client and female Airman. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY to ALL Charges and Specifications. NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement.
November 9, 2016, U.S. v. E-5, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. An agent (E-5 SGT) with the Criminal Investigations Division (CID) is at Fort Leonard Wood for investigative training when he is charged with assault and battery under 18 United States Code (“USC”) 113(a)(5). According to reports, another female CID agent who was also at Fort Leonard Wood for training claimed the Sergeant physically assaulted her. Any misconduct on the Sergeant’s record will completely end his career in law enforcement. Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin sees through the accuser’s real motives, which are to avoid punishment after his client had previously accused her of cheating on a test. Videotape footage of the accuser showing her using her cell phone to look up answers to cheat is provided to prosecutors. Gapasin and the client turn down Government offers to plead guilty and instead opt to proceed to trial in Magistrate’s Court. RESULT: Charges filed under 18 USC 113(a)(5) are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE (meaning they cannot be filed in the future). NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement.
October 20, 2016, U.S. v. E-5, Mountainhome AFB, Idaho. Staff Sergeant in the Air Force is charged with forcible rape and sodomy, abusive sexual contact and indecent viewing and visual recording following trip to a casino in Jackpot, Nevada. He and a fellow Airman are accused of these charges by a civilian female whom they met while at the casino. Staff Sergeant faces life confinement and registration as a sex offender. He retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin represents client at the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing and aggressively cross-examines key witnesses. Witnesses with the alleged victim at the casino reveal her lack of credibility and inconsistent testimony. Gapasin hones in on her provocative behavior caught on tape from casino floor cameras and he reveals her illicit drug use on that same night through the cross-examination of a key witness. Gapasin also attacks questionable DNA evidence collected in the hotel room by the local County Sheriff. Preliminary Hearing Officer recommends complete dismissal of the forcible rape and sodomy charges. Government proceeds to refer charges for abusive sexual contact and indecent viewing and visual recording under Article 120c due to forensic evidence obtained from client’s cell phone. Gapasin focuses defense at avoiding sex offender registration for his client. Following Gapasin’s efforts to avoid registration and potential confinement, Government agrees to a negotiated plea resulting in Article 15 punishment and waiver of a separation board. RESULT: COMPLETE DISMISSAL of Forcible Rape Charge and other related charges, NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement.
October 17, 2016, U.S. v. E-6, Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Army Staff Sergeant is accused of sexual assault while he and alleged victim are deployed to Kuwait. Staff Sergeant denies allegations and gives a statement to CID claiming their sexual activity was entirely consensual. Staff Sergeant tells CID to analyze the alleged victim’s cell phone because it would provide evidence that she consented. Nothing is done. Staff Sergeant advises his JAG lawyers to request the cell phone for analysis, however, no such discovery requests are made. Instead, JAG lawyer advises him to agree to 18 months of confinement and plead guilty for assault and battery in order to avoid sex offender registration. Staff Sergeant refuses and instead retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin immediately files a Request for a Digital Forensics Expert to conduct an extraction of the alleged victim’s cell phone. Government denies this request, and CID apparently claims they “found nothing of evidentiary value”. Gapasin files a Motion to Compel Production of Expert, and the Military Judge grants the Motion. Gapasin requests that all Voxer messages from the alleged victim’s cell phone be subpoenaed. Again, Government denies the request, and CID claims their “extraction of the cell phone failed”. Gapasin files a Motion to Compel Discovery, and the Military Judge grants the motion. Gapasin’s forensic digital expert examines the cell phone and digital evidence is extracted supporting the client’s claim that the sexual activity was, indeed, consensual. Evidence from the cell phone also revealed that the alleged victim committed the crime of perjury when she testified under Gapasin’s cross-examination in a prior motions hearing. After multiple additional motions and discovery requests filed by Gapasin, the alleged victim declines to participate and the Government dismisses all charges and specifications. RESULT: ALL Charges and Specifications DISMISSED. NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Confinement. Subsequent separation board alleging sexual harassment for separate, unrelated accusers was TERMINATED after the Staff Sergeant retained Mr. Gapasin a second time.
October 13, 2016, U.S. v. E-2, Naval Station Mayport, Florida. Seaman Apprentice is accused of sexual assault by his estranged spouse and ordered into pre-trial confinement. Mr. Gapasin represents him and they proceed to a General Court-Martial trial. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines his client’s accuser, exposing her lack of credibility and her attempts to evade questions. For up to two hours, this key witness refuses to respond credibly to Gapasin’s cross-examination questions. Gapasin also reveals what he believes to be her true motives to fabricate, i.e., her desire to falsely accuse Gapasin’s client of sexual assault in order to gain full custody of their then-unborn child. Gapasin argues how the “timeline” is circumstantial evidence of her motives to fabricate. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY to ALL Charges and Specifications. NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement.
October 1, 2016, U.S. v O-4, Charlottesville, North Carolina. Former client of Mr. Gapasin was retained by the U.S. Army Reserves following a separation board involving allegations of inappropriate sexual relationships with cadets. Gapasin successfully defends this Major at the Officer Board of Inquiry and he is retained. Client receives a notice several months later, however, indicating that his security clearance would be revoked due to these inappropriate sexual relationships. Client retains Gapasin a second time to represent him to keep his security clearance. Gapasin advocates on behalf of the client, arguing facts that were elicited at the Board of Inquiry that reveals his client’s innocence. Gapasin provides documents and exhibits from the board hearing that were helpful in illustrating why his client was innocent of sexual impropriety with his cadets. RESULT: Security Clearance REINSTATED.
September 30, 2016, U.S. v E-5, Rose Barracks, Germany. Sergeant is accused by the Government of BAH fraud, obstruction of justice, communicating a threat and fraudulent enlistment. Sergeant’s estranged wife is the source of the more serious charges, making false allegations against him to avoid trouble for having committed past fraud against the U.S. Army and trying to claim benefits at her husband’s expense. Charges are preferred to a General Court-Martial and Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin. Gapasin represents his client at the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing and immediately exposes problems with the Government’s evidence. Gapasin reveals at the hearing that an email containing threats to hurt his estranged wife was actually fabricated. The email was doctored by his accuser wife to make it appear that Gapasin’s client was threatening to hurt her if she talked to law enforcement. Gapasin exposes multiple other fabrications on the part of the wife, to include lies about having gone to college, falsely claiming that Gapasin’s client was the father of her son, and conjuring false allegations of being the victim of domestic violence. RESULT: NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement. Government agrees to Chapter 10 request two weeks before trial after Gapasin files multiple motions and discovery requests.
September 27, 2016, U.S. v E-5, Laughlin AFB, Del Rio, Texas. Security Forces Staff Sergeant is accused of multiple specifications of dereliction of duty in his role as a member of Security Forces. Commander who has it out for him cancels his PCS orders, extending him at Laughlin AFB and proceeds to push for preferral of charges. Staff Sergeant only wants to be discharged from the Air Force without Under Other Than Honorable (UO). Charges are preferred and Staff Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin. Gapasin aggressively pushes to proceed to trial in this case. With only a couple weeks before the scheduled trial date, the Government relents and grants Gapasin’s client a Chapter 4, and with a General Characterization of Discharge Under Honorable Conditions. RESULT: NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement. Obtained discharge with characterization of Under Honorable Conditions.
September 14, 2016, Yokota AB, Japan, U.S. v. E-5. Fight between two Air Force members breaks out in “Bar Row” just outside of Yokota AB. The Government prefers serious felony assault and battery charges against Staff Sergeant. Alleged victim Airmen incurs a broken jaw resulting in multiple surgeries with extensive recovery. Government further charges the Staff Sergeant with the intent to inflict Grievous Bodily Harm, which carries additional years of confinement. With just 1-2 weeks before trial, Staff Sergeant retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him at court-martial. Gapasin moves the Court for a continuance which is subsequently granted. Gapasin finds clear self-defense on the part of his client. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the alleged victim at trial and reveals his lack of credibility and exaggeration of facts. Witnesses whom Gapasin calls testify that the alleged victim bullied client’s Airmen whom the client was defending, physically assaulted the client and yelled derogatory names at him while intoxicated. This Airman continues to “play the victim and not the bully” from the witness stand. Ultimately, serious assault and battery charges are dismissed and client is only found “administratively” guilty of disorderly conduct. RESULT: NO Federal Conviction. NO Confinement. NO Reduction in Rank. NO Discharge. Minor punishment of forfeitures and restrictions to base.
July 1, 2016, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S. v. E-9. Government investigates Master Chief Commissaryman (CSCM) in high-profile Navy case involving the Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) matter. This case is heavily reported by newspapers and media outlets as the “Fat Leonard” case, which results in several high-ranking officials in Navy circles being federally indicted for accepting bribes and favors in exchange for information on US Navy ship movements in the Pacific. The information was allegedly for purposes of arranging visits to specific ports where GDMA handled ship husbanding chores. CSCM finds himself a suspect of this wide-scale military investigation and faces possible confinement with a dishonorable discharge. CSCM is accused of accepting gifts of discounted hotel accommodations and transportation in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Darwin and Busan. CSCM retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him against allegations imposed by the GDMA Consolidated Disposition Authority (CDA). After conducting a diligent and thorough investigation, Gapasin responds to the allegations in written submissions and in a conference with Admiral associated with the CDA. RESULT: NON-PUNITIVE Letter Only. NO Prosecution. Allowed to continue with retirement from Navy.
June 9, 2016, Fort Campbell, Kentucky U.S. v. O-2. First Lieutenant is accused of forcible rape and several counts of assault and battery by estranged spouse, who is another Lieutenant whom he met in the Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC). The Government prefers 13 specifications for rape, sexual assault, assault and battery, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentlemen, communicating a threat, extortion, and violating a lawful order. The Government also charges the client with the sexual assault of his first ex-wife. The First Lieutenant retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him in this case involving spiteful, bitter domestic issues. At trial, Gapasin reveals a number of alarming facts: how the alleged victim had a male officer stay at her home just days after filing for divorce, how she and the client had an adventurous sex life seeming to show consent or mistake of fact, and most importantly, that she had a motive to fabricate when she reported. This is because she reported two days after receiving notice from her company commander that an investigation against her for adultery was inevitable. Gapasin also called an expert in cell phone forensics to testify that a text message stream that she took screenshots of and provided to law enforcement had been modified. Client adamantly denied sending a text that said, “you can’t rape your wife.” This was a text that was contained within the faked text message stream provided by the accuser. Gapasin’s cross-examination of the alleged victim put the nail in the coffin. Her testimony was evasive and revealed a lack of credibility. The ex-wife declined to participate following the filing of Gapasin’s motions and discovery submissions. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY to ALL 13 Specifications. NO Sex Offender Registration. NO Confinement. NO Federal Conviction.
May 17, 2016, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, U.S. v. CW2. Chief Warrant Officer received a General Officer Memorandum Of Reprimand (GOMOR) alleging he was involved in an inappropriate relationship with his platoon leader, a First Lieutenant, and alleging that he engaged in conduct unbecoming an officer. This stems from allegations that the CW2 was stalking the lieutenant and taking photos of her and her purported NCO boyfriend. The CW2 was also accused of sending threatening text messages to the lieutenant upon learning of this illicit relationship with the NCO. The CW2 was notified that the GOMOR was to be filed in his Official File. This would deny him the opportunity for Temporary Early Retirement Authority (TERA) after 17 years of service. Such punishment would far exceed the crime. The CW2, seeking no more than filing of the GOMOR in his Local, Unofficial File, retained Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin advocated on behalf of his client, focusing not only on the mitigating circumstances of the case, but also on forensic evidence such as text messages that exonerated his client. RESULT: LOCAL FILING ONLY. NOT filed in Official File. Can successfully apply for TERA After 17 Years Of Honorable Service.
March 31, 2016, Torii Station, Okinawa, Japan, U.S. v. E-7. Sergeant First Class assigned to 1-1 Special Forces is accused of attempting to deceive his chain of command with false official documents. Sergeant First Class is accused of forging a fictional commander’s name on his leave forms when he attended a HALO course in the States, and with attempting to deceive his command when he allegedly modified his evaluation reports (called NCOERs in the Army). He denies the allegations and retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin investigates Special Forces unit and finds a culture of “unwritten,” sloppy policies regarding the process of taking leave in the States. Gapasin also reveals major flaws in the evaluation process thereby revealing how his client did not intend to deceive anyone regarding his evaluation. Gapasin goes to trial and cross-examines several high-ranking members of this Special Forces unit. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of both Article 107 specifications for forging a fictional commander’s name and for modifying an NCOER with the intent to deceive. NO Confinement. NO Reduction in Rank. Minor forfeiture of pay for unauthorized absence without leave.
March 18, 2016, U.S. v. WO1, Fort Rucker, Alabama. Warrant Officer is s accused of forcible rape by his ex-wife and of multiple physical assaults with a firearm on several individuals. WO1 is acquitted in civilian court on the firearms charges. However, the U.S. Army refers the firearms charges to a General Court Martial along with charges of forcible rape under Article 120, UCMJ. Mr. Freeburg fights his client’s case for entire year, filing multiple motions and attending several motions hearings until the case goes to a week-long panel trial. At trial, Mr. Freeburg extensively cross-examines the government witnesses, exposing numerous lies and inconsistencies. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of Rape and Other Charges. Only found guilty of pointing an unloaded firearm. Only punishment was a partial forfeiture of pay for two months. NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Confinement.
March 11, 2016, US Army Reserve, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. v. O-4. Major with over 18 years in the Army was assigned as a trainer and professor of Military Science at a college. Major is accused of engaging in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a ROTC cadet, engaging in a prohibited personal relationship and violating a lawful order by hosting a social event and providing alcohol to cadets without prior approval from the Brigade Commander. Major retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him at his separation board. Gapasin fights hard at the board, cross-examining Government witnesses who were clearly biased against his client due to his client’s hard-charging, by-the-book leadership style. Gapasin argues how the Government failed to satisfy its burden of proof, and how it failed to contact important witnesses due to their lack of credibility. Following Gapasin’s aggressive cross-examinations and closing argument logically stating the reasons for retention, the Officer Board agrees and retains Gapasin’s client. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED After 18 Years Of Service.
February 25, 2016, Fort Bliss, Texas, U.S. v. E-7. Sergeant First Class is accused by a female NCO of abusive sexual contact and indecent exposure. Unit initiates non-judicial punishment with the intent of separation but never provides the Sergeant First Class with evidence supporting the allegations. Frustrated and still denied the evidence despite having detailed military counsel, Sergeant First Class retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him with either moving forward with NJP or opting for a court-martial. Mr. Gapasin immediately contacts the unit and reqeusts that all evidence be provided to his client. The unit finally relents and provides the client with the statements and investigative reports. After thoroughly analyzing the evidence, Gapasin advises client to opt for the NJP. Although 98% of all NJP results in a finding of Guilty, Gapasin still advises on proceeding with NJP based on his analysis. Client follows Gapasin’s advice and 3-Star General Fully Acquits Gapasin’s client of alleged sexual offenses and Sergeant First Class can move closer to retirement. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Specifications at NJP, NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement.
February 8, 2016, U.S. v. E-7, Eglin AFB, Florida. Sergeant First Class receives two General Officer Memorandums of Reprimand (GOMORs) in his official military file. This results in the revocation of his Special Forces tab and notification that separation procedures would be initiated. Mr. Freeburg prepares a solid defense based on the mitigating nature of his client’s dedicated and honorable service. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED.
January 22, 2016, Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, U.S. v. E-6. Tech Sergeant is accused of two specifications of unprofessional conduct. One allegation is for maintaining an unprofessional relationship with a female Senior Airman (E-4) and also for serving drinks to the same Senior Airman, an alleged minor. Any Guilty finding would end the Tech Sergeant’s career. He hires Mr. Gapasin to represent him. At trial, Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the client’s accuser, an Airman who used to be the client’s roommate. This Airman is the one who accused client of having an unprofessional relationship. The former roommate testified that the client would make out with the Senior Airman in their apartment and serve her drinks even though she was underage. Gapasin handedly discredits client’s former roommate, revealing clear reprisal and a motive to fabricate because Gapasin’s client previously gave a statement to Security Forces that this former roommate had sexually assaulted a female Senior Airman. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NOT GUILTY of ALL Specifications.
January 5, 2016, Shaw Air Force Base, U.S. v. E-8. Senior Master Sergeant is accused of 14 specifications involving allegations by a female Senior Airman of sexual harassment, maltreatment, Article 120 offenses for abusive sexual contact and indecent exposure. This Senior Master Sergeant denies the accusations and retains Mr. Gapasin prior to the preferral of charges. Air Force Times covers the case. Based on Gapasin’s early investigation of Facebook posts and text messages, forensic messages reveal an infatuation by the Senior Airman towards the client. Despite a long flirtatious relationship, she claims that fear from reprisal and the client’s connections as reasons for “leading him on” and giving him “false hope.” The Government prosecutes client relentlessly. The Military Judge even rules in favor of Gapasin’s Motion that an appearance of Unlawful Command Influence (UCI) existed when the Staff Judge Advocate and Wing Commander appeared to influence the base’s Chief Master Sergeant, who had agreed to testify on behalf of client. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the alleged victim and exposes her questionable motives and lack of credibility. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of 12 out of 14 specifications. NO Confinement, NO Sex Offender Registration.
December 8, 2015, Joint Base Elemendorf-Richardson, Alaska, U.S. v. E-3. Airman First Class is accused of committing sexual acts with a child between the ages of 12 and 16. Airman denied these allegations that could result in confinement and registration as a sex offender. His detailed Air Force defense counsel advised him early in the case to take a guilty plea which would have resulted in confinement as well as registration. Airman First Class instead retains Mr. Gapasin to defend him in his court-martial. Gapasin represented client at the Article 32 Preliminary Hearing where he conducted substantial crime scene investigations and witness interviews. Gapasin filed several motions requiring the Court to compel the Government to turn over the minor’s school disciplinary records, high school reports, any school counselings as well as mental health records. Minor refused to testify regarding these matters. Following Gapasin’s motions, client opts to request discharge in lieu of a court-martial. Government approves the request. RESULT: NO Federal Conviction, NO Confinement, NO Sex Offender Registration.
December 2, 2015, Camp Casey, Korea. U.S. v. E-6. Staff Sergeant is accused of multiple allegations made by a female Specialist. One of the charged specifications alleged that he committed forcible oral sex in the Specialist’s barracks room when she was too intoxicated to consent. This offense alone carried a maximum punishment of 30 years. The Staff Sergeant’s DNA was obtained from underpants of the Specialist. He retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him in his court-martial. Gapasin cross-examines the accuser and reveals multiple inconsistencies in her allegations. He also cross-examines the USACIL lab forensic expert and reveals DNA results that are inconsistent with the accuser’s claim that she was forced to perform oral sex in the shower while too intoxicated to consent. Gapasin elicits testimony that reveals a lack of forensic evidence obtained from the Alternate Light Search (ALS) of the bathroom. Officer Panel acquits client of forcible oral sex. Prosecutors ask for 10 years confinement for remaining offenses. Gapasin argues at sentencing and client receives NO confinement. RESULT: NOT GUILTY to Forcible Oral Sex, NO Confinement.
November 23, 2015, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Client, a Captain (O-3) retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him at an officer separation board. Client is accused by the Government of having sexually assault a young lieutenant at a home after a group of officers had gone out drinking. Client was also accused of sexually harassing a Specialist while on TDY. Gapasin cross-examined several witnesses and introduced a number of documents to include Agent Investigators’ Reports as well as sworn statements by witnesses who were present during both incidents. Gapasin revealed how both accusers used false sex assault allegations to avoid some form of administrative punishment. After a full day of taking testimony, and at the conclusion of all the evidence, the Board of Officers fully retains Gapasin’s client. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED.
November 13, 2015, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois. U.S. v. O-4. Major (O-4) is accused of wrongfully and knowingly ingesting THC, or marijuana, after testing positive in a urinalysis. Major asserts this was not done knowingly and retains Mr. Gapasin. Just prior to trial, the Government agrees to dismiss the charge and specification that could have led to a felony drug conviction. Case proceeds to a General Officer (“GO”) Article 15 and Gapasin serves as client’s spokesperson at the Article 15 hearing. Three-Star General presides over hearing and finds insufficient evidence to find Gapasin’s client guilty of wrongfully and knowingly ingesting THC. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL, NO Federal Drug Conviction, NO Confinement, NO Discharge.
October 28, 2015, Fort Campbell, Kentucky. U.S. v. E-4. Highly-Decorated Corporal is charged with multiple specifications of maltreatment and assault of one of the Soldiers in his squad. This Soldier accuses him of kicking him during corrective training, communicating a threat and pointing both loaded and unloaded weapons at him at multiple times. Other witnesses testified against the Corporal claiming that he did maltreat and assault the Soldier. Corporal retains Mr. Gapasin. At trial before an Officer Panel, Mr. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the accuser as well as the other witnesses and exposes multiple inconsistencies and a lack of corroboration. Mr. Gapasin reveals how members in the squad could not handle the corrective training and high expectations of this Corporal. The Officer Panel virtually acquits the Corporal and only finds that his corrective training went too far on one occasion. RESULT: VIRTUAL FULL ACQUITTAL, NO Confinement, NO Discharge, VERY Minimal Punishment.
October 22, 2015, U.S. v. E-7, Fort Benning, Georgia. Sergeant First Class is charged with three specifications of sexual assault under Article 120, UCMJ, and eleven other charges, to include violation of a lawful order (Article 92, UCMJ), maltreatment of subordinates (Article 93, UCMJ) and adultery (Article 134, UCMJ). After interviewing numerous witnesses, Mr. Freeburg prepares an aggressive case strategy for each of the government charges and specifications. Freeburg’s defense included technical legal arguments, alibi defenses and solid cross-examinations of the government witnesses. RESULT: NOT GUILTY or DISMISSAL of 13 Total Specifications. Only reduced one grade in rank for violating an order. NO Confinement, NO Discharge.
September 2, 2015, U.S. v. O-3, Eglin AFB, Florida. Captain had been convicted on several charges in State civilian court and was now facing separation in a Board of Inquiry. Captain had served for over 18 years in the military. At the board, Mr. Freeburg strongly advocates on behalf of his client and argues the mitigating facts in support of his client’s case. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED and allowed to retire with all benefits.
August 18, 2015, U.S. v. E-6, Fort Benning, Georgia. Staff Sergeant has a positive urinalysis for a controlled substance. He is notified of a career-ending Article 15 non-judicial punishment (NJP). Mr. Freeburg represents Staff Sergeant and after consulting with Mr. Freeburg, the client rejects the Article 15 and demands trial by court martial. Mr. Freeburg prepares a solid defense of innocent ingestion, arguing that his client never intended to use an illegal substance and that any such taking was inadvertent. Without this intent, Freeburg can prove the taking of the substance was not wrongful and would therefore lead to an acquittal. Freeburg aggressively advocates on behalf of his client before a military panel. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL. NO Federal Conviction for Drug Use, NO Conviction, NO Discharge.
July 30, 2015, Wisconsin National Guard, Madison, Wisconsin. U.S. v. E-7. Mr. Gapasin is retained in Wisconsin’s first-ever court-martial. Wisconsin National Guard unit prefers charges against Sergeant First Class based on the allegations of seven female cadets and recruits who allege sexual harassment and other serious misconduct. The Article 32, which did not proceed under the recently passed NDAA 2015, took place over the course of two days. During Mr. Gapasin’s aggressive cross-examinations, three (3) of the accusers refused to testify unless they were granted immunity. By the conclusion of the Article 32, seven (7) of the originally-preferred nineteen (19) specifications were dismissed. Mr. Gapasin conducted extensive discovery during the Article 32 and after it thereby revealing a lack of credibility of several of the client’s accusers. Due to the dismissed specifications and the lack of aggravating evidence, the client opted to negotiate a deal with the Government for minimal punishment. RESULT: Negotiated MINIMAL PUNISHMENT. NO Sex Offender Registration.
June 15, 2015, Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. U.S. v. E-2. Young Marine is accused of disobeying a lawful order, disobeying a superior commissioned officer and obstruction of justice following a skirmish off the highway with an Army Provost Marshal. Marine is given non-judicial punishment with an understanding that his command would separate him from the Marine Corps with an Other Than Honorable (“OTH”) discharge. Marine retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin advises client to turn down the non-judicial punishment and opt for court-martial. Charges are preferred and Gapasin files a Motion to Dismiss all charges and specifications arguing that the charges are unsupported by the evidence. Following argument at the Article 39(a) motions hearing on the first day of the trial, Military Judge grants Gapasin’s Motion to Dismiss. RESULT: FULL ACQUITTAL of ALL Charges and Specifications.
April 13, 2015, U.S. v. E-5, Fort Benning, Georgia. SGT is accused of the forcible rape and forcible sodomy of another Soldier in Kosovo. SGT had allegedly confessed to the crimes in pretext messages on Facebook but invoked his right to counsel and right to remain silent. Charges of forcible rape under Article 120, UCMJ, and forcible sodomy Article 125, UCMJ, are referred to a General Court Martial and the client is involuntarily recalled to active duty from the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Mr. Freeburg develops a strategy for dealing with the apparent confession and exhaustively prepares the client for taking the stand in his own defense in front of a panel. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications.
April 1, 2015, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. U.S. v. O-3. Captain in the Army is false accused of sexual assault of a female Lieutenant when they were both stationed in Germany and before returning to the States. According to the Lieutenant, a group of officers hung out after a night of drinking and slept in the home of another officer following a social gathering. The Captain was present in that group. Following that night, she accused the Captain of sexually assaulting her and charges under Article 120 were preferred against him. The Captain vehemently denied the accusations and retained Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Prior to the Article 32 Hearing, it was learned through diligent investigation that the Lieutenant had engaged in a prior inappropriate relationship in Germany and could have been facing disciplinary action. Moreover, she could not identify the client in a lineup until after she finally saw him for the first time at a hail and farewell. She then returned to law enforcement to pick him out of the lineup. Mr. Gapasin pursued the investigation aggressively and listed approximately 20 witnesses to testify at the Article 32 hearing, to include whom she had the inappropriate relationship with as well as another witness who had previously been falsely accused by the Lieutenant of sexually assaulting her. The day before the Article 32 Hearing, the Lieutenant declined to proceed. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED The Day Before The Article 32 Hearing.
March 18, 2015, USAG Wiesbaden, Germany. U.S. v. E-7. Sergeant First Class with 18 years in the United States Army is involved in a serious head-on vehicular accident on the German Autobahn and charged with serious offenses, to include drunken driving resulting in injuries to three German nationals, committing an assault with a means likely to inflict death or grievous bodily harm, as well as false official statement and drunk and disorderly conduct. The NCO denied these allegations from the beginning and had asserted that another individual was driving his vehicle. Facing over 15 years of confinement and the loss of his retirement, NCO retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Mr. Gapasin immediately obtains the appointment of several experts to the defense team, to include an accident reconstructionist, a biomechanic expert and a forensic DNA and blood splatter expert. Defense contended that the injuries sustained by the client were not consistent with damages to the interior of the client’s vehicle. The driver side airbag revealed blood splatter but all hospital records revealed the client sustained no blood loss nor cuts or lacerations. Following a contentious Article 32 hearing and several motions filed by Mr. Gapasin, all serious assault and battery charges as well as both statements for false official statement were dismissed. RESULT: DISMISSAL Of Serious Assault And Battery Allegations, NO Discharge Allowing Client To Retire After 18 Years.
March 10, 2015; U.S. v. E-1, Fort Rucker, Alabama. PVT is accused of sexual assault by another Soldier for allegedly penetrating her with his fingers while she was sleeping. The Government refers a charge of sexual assault Article 120, UCMJ, against this young PVT to a General Court Martial. At trial, Mr. Freeburg prepares a solid defense strategy. Though his client had in fact touched the complaining witness while she was sleeping, he does not touch her where he is charged with touching her. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of Sexual Assault. NO Confinement, NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Federal Conviction.
February 27, 2015, Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia. U.S. v. E-9. Master Chief with 28 years in the United States Navy faces serious sexual assault charges to include stalking. Government also charges Master Chief with multiple specifications for violating regulations on sexual harassment and fraternization involving 8 female sailors. Master Chief retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. The primary accuser, a junior enlisted sailor, claims the Master Chief groped her and even extorted her by denying her an Air Warfare pin unless she gave him naked pictures and videos of herself. Mr. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the sailor and exposes a lack of corroboration with her testimony, as well as multiple inconsistencies and contradictions. Mr. Gapasin also reveals to the Enlisted Panel the flaws in the forensic evidence presented by the Government. Panel composed of two Officers and six Master Chiefs acquits client of all Article 120 offenses. RESULT: NOT GUILTY to Article 120 Sexual Offenses, NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Discharge.
February 23, 2015, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. U.S. v. E-5. Government accuses NCO of illegally possessing and using non-prescribed medication following a company-wide urinalysis. NCO is adamant that medication was innocently ingested at a wedding. She retains Mr. Gapasin to represent her upon receipt of Article 15, Non-Judicial Punishment paperwork. Upon the advice of Mr. Gapasin, client turns down NJP and opts for court-martial. The Government refuses to go to trial and instead issues client a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand. Mr. Gapasin responds by serving the command with a rebuttal to the reprimand. Chain of command decides to file reprimand in her “local” file, thereby not affecting client’s career and allowing her to be promoted. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED, NO Federal Conviction, NO Discharge.
February 22, 2015, U.S. v. E-7, Fort Benning, Georgia. Sergeant First Class is accused of the theft of a sensitive military weapon from Marine Special Forces (MARSOC) in Afghanistan. SFC is also accused of pawning the weapon in the United States. Mr. Freeberg represents the SFC and immediately recognizes problems with the Government’s case. Seeing holes in the Government’s story, Freeburg prepares a creative defense. He avoids opening evidentiary doors and opportunities for the Government to enter in valuable evidence. In order to do this, Freeberg limits the defense case. He instead argues how the prosecution failed to satisfy its high burden of proof and overcome the presumption of innocence. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications.
January 30, 2015, Camp Casey, South Korea. U.S. v. E-5. NCO is accused of sexually assaulting a female Soldier and later for committing assault and battery against two other NCOs in the same incident. NCO adamantly denies sexually assaulting this Soldier despite the statement of an adverse witness. NCO retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him during pending investigation and possible General Court-Martial. Mr. Gapasin begins an investigation by contacting several witnesses. Witnesses divulge that the accuser was flirting with Mr. Gapasin’s client the entire night just before the alleged incident. Mr. Gapasin contacts the OSJA regarding the case. Within a month, the case against Mr. Gapasin’s client is dropped. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration.
December 3, 2014, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska. U.S. v. E-4. The Government prefers charges against Military Police client for wrongful possession of illegal drugs. Client denies the possession of these drugs and retains Mr. Gapasin to represent her for the court-martial with the intent on going to trial. Mr. Gapasin recognizes several search and seizure violations per the client’s Fourth Amendment rights, and also hones in on a defective chain of custody for the alleged illegal drugs at issue. Following witness interviews prior to trial, Mr. Gapasin also discovers that blood samples from the client not only involved a defective chain of custody, but one of the custodians of the samples knew the test sample was contaminated due to foreign substances. Mr. Gapasin filed motions to the Court addressing these serious legal issues. The Government subsequently dismisses the charges just days before trial resulting in only minor administrative punishment. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED Days Before Trial, NO Federal Conviction, NO Discharge.
October 30, 2014, Kaiserslautern, Germany. U.S. v. E-6. The client, an NCO military police dog handler and kennel master, was accused of sexual assault by one of his Privates. This Staff Sergeant denied the accusations in this “he said, she said” case and retained Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Charges preferred against the client involved allegations of maltreatment, sexual harassment, indecent acts by exposing himself multiple times and the use of his rank and position to coerce the Private into performing sex acts with him. She claimed the acts occurred when she and the client were alone in a Government vehicle for approximately five hours during a mission returning dogs to a kennel. Mr. Gapasin vigorously cross-examined the alleged victim exposing a number of lies in her testimony at trial and in her prior testimony at the Article 32 hearing. Panel acquitted Mr. Gapasin’s client of all serious charges including the Article 120 charge. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of Sexual Assault, NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Discharge, NO Confinement.
September 18, 2014, Kaiserslautern, Germany. U.S. v. E-7. NCO with 25 years of military service is charged with committing assault and battery against his estranged spouse. Government also prefers charges for drunk and disorderly conduct. NCO who faces the loss of his retirement retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. At the court-martial, Mr. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines client’s estranged spouse who fully recants from the stand and admits to fabricating allegations that NCO husband choked her in order to escape the marriage. Cross-examination also revealed that the estranged spouse was involved in an illicit affair at the time. Mr. Gapasin further cross-examines the military police from the scene revealing a lack of physical evidence contrary to the bruises they claimed to see on her neck. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications, NO Federal Conviction, Client allowed to retire after 25 years of service.
September 10, 2014, Camp Lemonnier, Djbouti, U.S. v. E-7. NCO becomes subject to numerous allegations of hazing, abuse of authority, unethical treatment and maltreatment while deployed to Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. The Government accuses NCO of forcing his Soldiers to purchase him alcohol in violation of General Order No. 1, of using excessive force during combatives, and of general “roughhousing” and maltreatment of his Soldiers. NCO denies these allegations and retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Following their own investigation, Mr. Gapasin and his client discover that many of the Soldiers begin retracting their original statements made to investigators. Mr. Gapasin informs the Government representatives that the Defense intends on aggressively pursuing a full acquittal of all accusations. The Government subsequently withdraws its pursuit of a court-martial and instead proceeds with non-judicial punishment. RESULT: NO Prosecution, Non-Judicial Punishment resulting in minimal punishment, NO Reduction In Rank, NO Discharge.
August 27, 2014, Utah National Guard, Riverton, Utah. U.S. v. O-2. Lieutenant in the Army National Guard is accused by a female Officer of sexual assault from a year prior when they were both in a Military Police Basic Officer Leader’s course. The female Officer accused the Lieutenant of sexually assaulting her when she was under the influence of alcohol during a study session between the two of them. The Lieutenant denied these accusations and retained Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin aggressively sought to have these charges dismissed and immediately had the client undergo a private polygraph examination. Client passed the polygraph and Gapasin notified his chain of command. Client also submitted the results of the polygraph to his chain of command and aggressively argued for the dismissal of all charges based on a lack of credibility of the alleged victim as well as her counterintuitive behavior. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration.
July 24, 2014, Fort Hood, Texas. U.S. v. E-7. NCO with over 20 years of service is accused by another female NCO of abusive sexual contact immediately following a hail and farewell. NCO gave a statement to law enforcement and did confess to possibly touching the female NCO in a sexual manner, but claimed that it was accidental. Based on this statement, law enforcement intensified its investigation. As a result, accused NCO retains Mr. Gapasin. Gapasin contacts accused’s chain of command and contends that client is not guilty of abusive sexual contact. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration, Client allowed to retire after 20 years of service.
June 26, 2014, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. U.S. v. E-6. NCO is charged with two specifications of abusive sexual contact, two specifications of indecent acts, and two specifications of maltreatment. Alleged victim is an E-3 Private First Class who accuses the NCO of committing these crimes at various locations, to include a popular off-post bar, outside her barracks, and behind a local movie theater where the NCO allegedly drove them to proposition her for sex. NCO denied accusations from the beginning and retained Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the alleged victim at trial revealing inconsistent versions of what she claims occurred. Following an extensive discovery process, Gapasin calls witnesses to the stand who contradict the PFC’s testimony. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications, NO Federal Conviction, NO Sex Offender Registration.
June 19, 2014, Aviano Air Base, Aviano, Italy. U.S. v. O-1. Officer is charged with three specifications of assault on other Air Force CGOs as well as disorderly conduct and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentlemen. The accusations stem from alcohol-related incidents in Italy and Pag, Croatia. Officer denies accusations and retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. At trial, Gapasin aggressively cross-examines several CGOs, labeling this “work hard, play hard,” clique of officers as “The Brat Pack.” Gapasin reveals a lack of corroboration in the CGOs testimony as well as blatant lying under oath. Gapasin exposes this group of officers who were unwilling to be accountable for their irresponsible, alcohol-induced conduct. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications, NO Federal Conviction.
June 11, 2014, Redstone Arsenal, Huntsville, Alabama. U.S. v. O-3. JAG Captain (O-3) is accused of fraternization and three allegations of false official statement. She is accused of malingering and falsifying her condition to obtain medical benefits upon retirement as she had already received orders for a medical separation. Her Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) and Deputy Staff Judge Advocate (DSJA) push for her involuntary separation thereby denying her medical benefits upon discharge. This JAG retains Mr. Gapasin to represent her at a separation board. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the SJA and many other Government witnesses revealing a toxic leadership and a lack of credibility. The board lasts approximately 17 hours. RESULT: FULLY RETAINED. Client to receive ALL medical benefits.
May 22, 2014, Fort Lee, Virginia. U.S. v. E-1. Soldier is accused of committing abusive sexual contact under Article 120 of the UCMJ on a Soldier in Basic Combat Training and another Soldier in Advanced Individual Training. The accused is also charged with committing assault and battery on another Soldier during a field training exercise at night. Facing six (6) specifications charged against him, the accused Soldier retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin cross-examines these Government witnesses effectively revealing that his client was the subject of constant demeaning bullying by those alleged victims. Through aggressive questioning, Gapasin exposes the lack of credibility of his client’s accusers. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of ALL Charges and Specifications. NO Sex Offender Registration. NO Federal Conviction.
April 18, 2014, USAG Grafenwoehr, Germany. U.S. v. E-4. Accused Soldier is charged with 15 specifications of domestic violence against his wife and children. Specifications include assault and battery, communicating a threat, obstruction of justice, and even DUI. Government attempts to intimidate the accused informing him that it intends to pursue confinement of over 10 years. Accused hires Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Gapasin conducts extensive investigation and becomes aware of serious misrepresentations made by the accused’s estranged wife. Gapasin advises client against the Government’s offers to plead guilty and to agree to serious confinement. Following the Article 32 hearing, and in exchange for an involuntary separation, the Government agreed to dismiss all charges and specifications. RESULT: ALL Charges Dismissed. NO Confinement. NO Federal Conviction.
February 14, 2014, Kirtland Air Force Base, Bernalillo, New Mexico. U.S. v. O-4. Major is accused of committing sexual assault during an officer training course. Major denies allegations from the beginning but faces sex offender registration. He retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Mr. Gapasin proactively engages in steps for immediate dismissal of case. Mr. Gapasin’s investigators discover several facts in the background of the alleged victim that reveal motives to fabricate false rape allegations. Mr. Gapasin’s appointed polygrapher found no deception and the Major passes private polygraph. Mr. Gapasin submits the results of the investigation and the private polygraph to Major’s chain of command and law enforcement. The Government subsequently declines to prosecute. RESULT: ALL Charges Dismissed. NO Sex Offender Registration. NO Federal Conviction.
January 22, 2014, Marine Corps Support Facility, New Orleans, Louisiana. U.S. v. E-3. Lance Corporal is charged with sexual assault and assault and battery of a Sergeant E-5. Lance Corporal is also charged with violating a lawful regulation by engaging in an inappropriate relationship. Lance Corporal faces registration as a sex offender. He also gives a videotaped statement to NCIS. Lance Corporal then retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Mr. Gapasin aggressively requests certain discovery items, i.e., mental health records of the alleged victim and a diary of hers discovered 2 weeks before trial. Following Mr. Gapasin’s persistent discovery requests and within 2 weeks of trial, alleged victim declines to participate in court-martial. RESULT: ALL Charges and Specifications Dismissed and Withdrawn. NO Sex Offender Registration. NO Federal Conviction.
January 17, 2014, Fort Belvoir, Maryland. U.S. v. WO2. Chief Warrant Officer with 19 years of active duty service is charged in General Court-Martial with 13 specifications involving allegations of sexual harassment and registerable sex offenses to include charges for wrongful sexual contact and sexual assault. Accused warrant officer retains Mr. Gapasin. Mr. Gapasin cross-examines all 6 female accusers at the Article 32 hearing. Following the Article 32, two of the sex assault charges with a combined 60 years maximum confinement and a dishonorable discharge are dismissed. Two sex offender registerable offenses remained for trial. Mr. Gapasin proceeds to trial on remaining specifications and client is found Not Guilty of the remaining registerable offenses. Though found guilty of other less serious offenses, Accused receives minimal punishment and is retained. RESULT: NOT GUILTY to ALL Sex Assault Charges. NO Sex Offender Registration. NO Dismissal.
December 12, 2013, USCG Base Boston, Boston, Massachusetts. U.S. v. E-8. Senior Enlisted Member of Coast Guard with over 24 years of service is prosecuted for false official statement and three specifications of perjury. Charges stem from prior testimony and statements regarding accusations of illegally possessing an assault rifle in violation of strict Massachusetts gun laws. Charges also stem from accusations of reckless endangerment of minor child and disobeying base orders regarding gun registration requirements. High-profile case due to accusations made just days before Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012. Accused service member retains Mr. Gapasin to represent her. Mr. Gapasin files aggressive motions based on the Defense position of a Vindictive Prosecution and the existence of Unlawful Command Influence. Mr. Gapasin takes case to trial and the client is found Not Guilty of all charges and specifications. RESULT: NOT GUILTY Of All Charges And Specifications.
November 27, 2013, Fort Rucker, Alabama. U.S. v. O-3. Officer is accused of abusive sexual contact of female Soldier along with other allegations of conduct unbecoming an Officer and fraternization. Officer denies allegations and retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. With Mr. Gapasin as counsel, Officer obtains minimal NJP punishment. Government subsequently proceeds to initiate show cause board to separate Officer but Officer requests an Honorable discharge rather than proceed with the Show Cause Board. Mr. Gapasin obtains Honorable Discharge on behalf of his client. RESULT: NO Federal Conviction. NO Sex Offender Registration. Receives HONORABLE Discharge.
September 26, 2013, Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia. U.S. v. E-4. Sailor is accused of sexual assault of female sailor. NCIS interrogates accused who gives a statement of the incident in question. Sailor maintains innocence from beginning and retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him. Following intrusive and long investigation, Government declines to prosecute. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED.
September 19, 2013, US Coast Guard, District 7, Miami, Florida. U.S. v. E-3. Member of Coast Guard is accused of committing several acts of false official statement alleging he lied about his physical and mental condition to illegally obtain medical benefits. Accused retains Mr. Gapasin who aggressively pursues taking case to trial with intent of obtaining full acquittal. Three days before trial, the Government relents and requests a continuance. The Court grants the continuance and one month later, all charges and specifications are dismissed with prejudice and Mr. Gapasin obtains an Honorable Discharge on behalf of his client. RESULT: Charges DISMISSED. NO Federal Conviction. Receives HONORABLE Discharge.
August 7, 2013, Naval Station Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia. U.S. v. E-4. Sailor is accused of malingering under Article 115 and intentionally injuring himself to avoid deployment. Sailor strongly denied the allegations from the very beginning the accusations began. Navy prosecutors initiate Captain’s Mast against the Sailor and he immediately retains Mr. Gapasin. Sailor turns down mast and opts for court-martial. Government then initiates a summary court-martial. Sailor turns down summary court-martial and opts for trial by Special Court-Martial. Government responds by dismissing charges without prejudice. RESULT: Charges Dismissed. NO Federal Conviction.
July 15, 2013, Fort Wainwright, Alaska. U.S. v. E-4. Soldier is accused of possession and distribution of child pornography. Government maintained that the Soldier gave a confession to the illegal downloading and possession of mulitple images. Soldier retains Mr. Gapasin and prepares for trial. Subsequently, despite prosecutors strong position to prefer charges under Article 120 based on supposed “confession,” prosecutors do not prefer charges. Instead, prosecutors pursue lesser level of disposition and Soldier receives non-judicial punishment for violations under General Order #1. RESULT: NO Sex Offender Registration, NO Federal Conviction, NO Discharge.
June 3, 2013, Fort Carson, Colorado. U.S. v. E-4. Soldier is accused of assault and battery, assault with a deadly weapon and disrespect of an NCO. Command presumes him guilty without considering the statements of a witness present at the scene of the incident. Client maintains from the beginning he was engaged in self-defense from an aggressive NCO. Unit on the verge of preferring charges against Soldier. Soldier retains Mr. Gapasin. Afterwards, the unit declines to prosecute and Soldier follows through on original plan to leave the Army. Refusal to prosecute allows Soldier his opportunity to leave the Army with Honorable characterization of discharge. RESULT: Charges Dismissed. Honorable Characterization of Discharge.
May 3, 2013, Naval Support Activity, Bahrain. U.S. v. E-6. Sailor with over 10 years is accused of disrespect of an Officer and assault against another Sailor in an alleged altercation at the base gate. Command rushes to judgment and seeks to court-martial with the aim of discharging her from the Navy. Sailor hires Mr. Gapasin to represent her against these false allegations. Within days of retaining Mr. Gapasin, the unit dismisses the charges thereby allowing her to PCS to her next duty assignment. RESULT: Charges Dismissed.
April 21, 2013, Minnesota National Guard, St. Paul, Minnesota. U.S. v. E-7. Soldier with 14 years is accused of six specifications of maltreatment against NCOs and junior enlisted Soldiers. The maltreatment alleged included repeatedly dragging a blade across the face of another NCO, assault and battery, and hazing. Soldier was also charged with failing to obey a lawful general regulation by engaging in gender discrimination and offensive behavior. Mr. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the Government witnesses making these allegations against this NCO known to be a hard-charger and “by the book” leader. Mr. Gapasin takes case to trial and the client is fully acquitted of all charges and specifications. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of All Charges and Specifications.
April 15, 2013, Fort Polk, Louisiana. U.S. v. O-3. Officer is charged with 29 specifications under the UCMJ and faces life imprisonment for alleged violence and sexual assaults against girlfriend. Officer retains Mr. Gapasin who takes case to trial and client is acquitted of multiple specifications for the following offenses: attempt murder, rape, kidnapping, stalking and a majority of the assault and battery allegations. Though found guilty of additional minor offenses, e.g., military-specific offenses, client avoids life in prison as well as sex offender registration. Client to serve minimal confinement due to successful motion resulting in confinement credit of over 600 days. RESULT: Acquitted of Both Specifications of Attempt Murder. Acquitted of all Rape Charges. NO Sex Offender Registration.
March 14, 2013, Fort Riley, Kansas. U.S. v. E-5. Soldier is accused of sexual assault of a child under the age of 12 and several specifications of indecent acts against a minor. Soldier retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him at the Article 32 hearing. Mr. Gapasin aggressively cross-examines the estranged spouse as well as the alleged victims to reveal false accusations of sexual assault against the client in order to benefit from pending court-ordered financial support. Cross-examination by Mr. Gapasin also revealed that false accusations were made in order to affect child custody orders. The Article 32 Investigating Officer recommended dismissal of all charges and their specifications, and the Convening Authority agreed. All charges were subsequently dismissed. RESULT: Dismissal of All Charges After Article 32 Hearing.
January 11, 2013, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Army O-3 Admin Separation Board. Army Captain facing separation for alleged General Order violation while deployed to Afghanistan for drinking alcohol. Also facing separation for allegedly being AWOL from his unit. Mr. Gapasin represents officer client before board composed of O-6 President and O-5 Members. After deliberations, board issues findings and fully retains client. RESULT: Client Retained.
January 8, 2013, Fort Benning, Columbus, Georgia. U.S. v. E-7. Soldier instructor is accused of sexually assaulting three different female trainees at Airborne School. Mr. Gapasin takes case to trial and aggressively cross-examines the female trainees on the stand. The client is acquitted of all sexual assault charges against each of the three female accusers and avoids sex offender registration. RESULT: Acquitted of All Sex Assault Charges. NO Sex Offender Registration.
December 10, 2012, Naval Base Norfolk, Norfolk, Virginia. U.S. v. E-3. Sailor is accused of rape of estranged spouse. He is also accused of aggravated assault and communicating deadly threats. Sailor retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him during the investigation stage and before the preferral of charges. Mr. Gapasin communicates with NCIS agents involved in the sloppy investigation of the sailor and exposes a lack of credibility of the estranged spouse. United States does not move forward and the case is subsequently dismissed. RESULT: Dismissal of All Charges.
November 8, 2012, RAF Lakenheath, United Kingdom. U.S. v. O-3: Air Force officer charged with abusive sexual contact, stalking, aggravated assault. Media coverage by Air Force Times due to sexual offense allegations of this accused flier. Also one of the first contested Air Force trials involving newly legislated sexual assault laws under UCMJ Article 120. Mr. Gapasin takes case to trial and the client is acquitted of all serious charges, including sexual offense, and multiple stalking and aggravated assault charges. The officer panel retains this Airman with 18 years of service. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of All Major Offenses. NOT GUILTY of Sex Assault Charges. NO Sex Offender Registration. NO Discharge.
October 18, 2012, Camp Humphrey, South Korea. U.S. v. E-3: Soldier accused of assaulting four Korean males and committing false official statement, disrespect of an NCO. Mr. Gapasin is retained by Soldier to defend him against non-judicial punishment and possible court-martial. Soldier is prepared to opt for court-martial rather than proceed with non-judicial punishment. United States does not move forward. RESULT: Case Dismissed.
September 25, 2012, Fort Carson, Colorado Springs, Colorado. U.S. v. O-3: Army officer charged with wrongful sexual contact and assault and battery. Media coverage by Army Times, Stars and Stripes, and local papers due to allegations of hazing against the client and misuse of alcohol at officer function. Mr. Gapasin takes case to trial and the client is acquitted of the sexual offenses and assault and battery. The officer panel retains this Soldier with 15 years of service. RESULT: NOT GUILTY of Sex Assault Offenses. NO Sex Offender Registration. NO Discharge. At subsequent separation board, Officer FULLY RETAINED.
August 21, 2012, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Tucson, Arizona. U.S. v. E-1: Airman charged with serious sex offenses punishable by up to life in prison. Mr. Gapasin takes case to Article 32 hearing and the Investigating Officer recommends dismissal of these charges. As a result, the United States does not pursue and the charges are dropped. RESULT: Dismissal of Serious Sex Assault Charges after the Article 32 Hearing.
Other Past Cases Include:
Represented service member alleged to have committed war crimes in Afghanistan, to include the alleged murder of several Afghan citizens during military operations. Several members of the unit out of Joint Base Lewis-McChord were charged with multiple drug offenses and murder. CNN Special Investigations specifically referred to Mr. Gapasin with regards to CNN’s investigation of certain participants in these war crimes. Mr. Gapasin obtained testimonial immunity on behalf of his client and he was cleared of all charges and allegations.
Represented service member alleged to have sexually assaulted a foreign national female on Okinawa. Court-Martial resulted in numerous protests on the island and received international media attention. Mr. Gapasin won dismissal of all rape charges.
Represented service member charged with the stabbing of an alleged victim during a gang fight in Itaewon, just outside of Yongsan Garrison in Seoul, South Korea. Testimony at trial and a video tape revealed that he did not stab the alleged victim. Mr. Gapasin obtained a full acquittal on behalf of his client.
Represented service member alleged to have committed forcible rape in the barracks. Pre-trial investigation at the Article 32 hearing revealed that alleged victim incurred serious mental health disorders after she was supposedly sexual assaulted as a teenager. Mr. Gapasin obtained a Chapter 10 discharge allowing his client to avoid sex offender registration.
Represented service member charged with negligent homicide after alleged use of prescribed fentanyl patches with another member of his unit who then succumbed to an overdose. Mr. Gapasin obtained a light sentence of less than four months confinement on behalf of his client.
Represented service member alleged to have physically assaulted a gay officer at a formal military ball. The Huffington Post wrote that this was the first reported incident of discrimination since the official repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy regarding sexual orientation. Mr. Gapasin fought and client received nothing more than a letter of reprimand.
Represented service member charged with aggravated assault with intent to cause grievous bodily injury. Testimony revealed poor leadership by service member’s NCO was a leading cause of a barracks scuffle. Mr. Gapasin obtained a light sentence on behalf of his client. Interestingly, because of Mr. Gapasin’s aggressive cross-examination of his client’s NCO at trial, the NCO subsequently received an Article 15.
Represented service member charged with involuntary manslaughter and negligent homicide after HEMMT he was driving crossed the center line of a road on post and collided with a ciivilian vehicle. Mr. Gapasin’s client was found not guilty of involuntary manslaughter which carried a punishment of dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and up to 10 years confinement.
Represented service member Drill Sergeant alleged to have maintained inappropriate relationships. The service member received a light punishment. However, the unit attempted to separate him while the service member was pending a medical board. Mr. Gapasin represented the service member at the separation board and successfully fought for his retention. Mr. Gapasin successfully retained his client after a fully litigated court-martial. Then Mr. Gapasin successfully retained his client at a subsequent separation board allowing the client successfully kept his medical board benefits due to PTSD following 5 deployments to Iraq.
Represented service member allegedly involved in the black market distribution of products in South Korea.
Represented service member for allegedly stealing over $60,000 in items from the PX in South Korea over the course of several months.
Represented service member for his alleged act of assaulting a South Korean taxi cab driver with a knife.
Represented service member for allegedly using and distributing LSD. Service member received very light punishment.
Represented service members charged with DUI.
Represented service members charged with the unauthorized wear of badges.
Represented service member charged with the aggravated assault of a fellow officer while on holiday leave.
Represented numerous service members charged with sexual assault and military-specific offenses.
Below are additional cases that involved legal issues only experienced civilian defense counsel should handle. For purposes of confidentiality, names, locations and dates were intentionally omitted:
U.S. vs. E-7. Faulty DNA Sampling and Lying Rape Victim. Attacking the DNA, Thorough Pre-Trial Investigation, and Cross Examination of Victim Results in Full Acquittal of All Charges and Specifications.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with four specifications for forcible rape and adultery. He was accused of aggravated sexual assault against a female E-3 who was allegedly substantially incapacitated due to alcohol. Under cross-examination at the Article 32Hearing, the alleged victim admitted that she could only identify her attacker because she recognized his voice. Based on the evidence, my client was a possible contributor to a small sample of foreign DNA found from a rectal swab of the purported victim. It was later discovered that the DNA was based on skin cells. Semen from the anal swabs also showed no sperm to identify the semen. The incident in question allegedly occurred at his home in the early morning hours of an after party. Semen from another male who she admitted to having had sex with at the party was found on vaginal swabs. A number of facts on cross-examination at trial illustrated the alleged victim’s lack of credibility. The alleged victim’s testimony went uncorroborated. For example, her mother testified that her daughter was crying on the phone at 0700 and her daughter had to hang up because she could not talk and drive at the same time. But the alleged victim testified she was raped in the early morning hours before the sun came up at 0630because it was too dark to physically identify her attacker. Moreover, several witnesses testified that at no time was the accused in the room with the alleged victim. In an incredible turn of events and thanks to aggressive pre-trial investigation, Mr. Gapasin discovered that the alleged victim actually robbed the client a couple days after he allegedly raped her. Mr. Gapasin also discovered that the alleged victim had a motive to make false allegations against the client because she believed it was his fault for turningin her former ex-marine boyfriend to law enforcement for a DUI that left a pedestrian dead. Mr. Gapasin’s client was fully acquitted of all rape charges, and the alleged victim was prosecuted by the State for burglary.
U.S. vs. O-1. Cross-Examination of Assault Victim Reveals His Drunken State and Exaggeration of What Happened. Cross-Examination Results in Full Acquittal of All Charges and Specifications.
Mr. Gapasin’s client, a Second Lieutenant Military Policeman, was charged with physically assaulting another Second Lieutenant from his Basic Officer Leadership Course (BOLC). The two were on a vacation in Las Vegas with the client’s family. Mr. Gapasin’s client was also charged with conduct unbecoming for failing to pay a gambling debt to the alleged officer-victim as well as for drunk and disorderly conduct. The drunk and disorderly conduct was eventually dismissed following the Article 32 Hearing, where Mr. Gapasin elicited testimony by the alleged officer-victim at cross-examination that his client was not acting drunk or disorderly in any way. At trial, Mr. Gapasin cross-examined the Second Lieutenant who claimed to have been cheated out of a $700 roulette bet that he claimed was a loan to the client. Mr. Gapasin attacked the victim’s credibility and revealed how intoxicated the victim was on the night in question and how his version of the facts did not follow the timeline, nor was it corroborated by any other testimony that was elicited. Mr. Gapasin also illustrated to the Officer Panel how the victim embellished and exaggerated his testimony. Mr. Gapasin also exposed the victim’s lack of credibility and untruthfulness during his cross-examination of the victim and his pending BAH fraud investigation. Mr. Gapasin fully prepared his client to take the stand, which the client did at the end of the defense case. As a result of the hard work of Mr. Gapasin and Captain Alyson Mortier, the Officer Panel Fully Acquitted the client of All Charges and Specifications.
U.S. v. O-1. Black-Outs After Drinking. Cross-Examination of Rape Victim Reveals Lies and Inconsistencies Resulting in Acquittal of All Rape Charges.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with three specifications under Article 120 for aggravated sexual assault, abusive sexual contact, and wrongful sexual contact. He was also charged with one specification under Article 125 for forcible sodomy, and one specification under Article 134 for fraternization. Mr. Gapasin’s client was an Active Guard Reserve officer. The alleged victim was a 24-year-old female who had been an E-5 in the select reserves. After a dinner date, they returned to the client’s house where she was at from 2000 – 0130. She alleged that she had blacked out approximately four times after their date. During intermittent periods of consciousness, she believed theclient sexually assaulted her. DNA testing did result in positive findings of my client’s saliva or epithelial cells from vaginal swab of the alleged victim. After extensive preparation with Mr. Gapasin, the client took the stand and testified to having consensual sexual activity. He testified that he did not act against the alleged victim’s will. Mr. Gapasin’s cross-examination of the alleged victim revealed lies and inconsistencies. After a full hearing on the merits, the officer panel found him Not Guilty of all of the Article 120 offenses, and of the Article 125 offense.
U.S. vs. E-3. Thorough Pre-Trial Investigation Reveals Pre-Existing Condition of Injured Infant Child. This Results in Dismissal of “Shaken Baby” Charges.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with specifications for aggravated assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and to maim his five-month old infant daughter. He was also charged with specifications for absence without leave, false official statement, assault and battery upon his spouse, and two specifications for communicating a threat. Prosecutors tried to push the Article 32 Hearing forward without affording the Defense sufficient time to conduct any investigation into this very complicated case. Mr. Gapasin aggressively pursued a delay of approximately 3 weeks in order to allow the defense time to acquire an expert pediatric neurologist to help prepare for the Article 32. After much argument from both sides, the Article 32 Investigating Officer granted the Defense request to delay, and the Battalion Commander granted the Defense request to have an expert pediatric neurologist appointed to the defense team pre-Article 32. After extensive preparation with its expert, the Defense aggressively litigated the Article 32, and the Investigating Officer recommended dismissal of all charges and their specifications. As to the “shaken baby” allegations, evidence was elicited at the hearing that the child had a pre-existing condition that resulted in a type of “brittle bone” disease. This information would not have been discovered without having had the expert appointed for the Article 32 hearing.
U.S. vs. E-5. Abusive Husband alleges Assault with Handgun. Thorough Preparation of Client’s Case Reveals Husband’s History of Domestic Violence. Solid Pre-Trial Investigation and Cross-Examination of Husband-Victim Results in Full Acquittal of All Charges and Specifications.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with assault consummated by battery and aggravated assault with a loaded firearm. Ever since the investigation began, Mr. Gapasin’s client maintained that she acted in self-defense against her then-husband, the alleged victim. Both were Non-Commissioned Officers. Through pre-trial investigation, Mr. Gapasin and military counsel, Captain Alyson Mortier, learned that two years earlier in Iraq, the alleged husband-victim threatened his ex-wife (not Mr. Gapasin’s client) and another Soldier. This ex-wife was also forced to defend herself against him. Even in that incident, the client’s husband avoided trouble by portraying himself as the victim. At trial, Mr. Gapasin cross-examined the husband-victim and a county police officer. Both accused Mr. Gapasin’s client of pointing a loaded handgun at her husband. Prosecutors argued that Mr. Gapasin’s client was angry at her husband for ignoring her advances that night while she was in sexy lingerie, and for her husband’s flirting with other women. After extensive preparation with Mr. Gapasin, the client took the witness stand andtestified why she believed she needed a firearm to defend herself. The defense was also able to explain to the panel why the client re-entered the home with the handgun when she could have run away. The prosecutors failed to prove that Mr. Gapasin’s client did not act in self-defense. The officer panel found Mr. Gapasin’s client Not Guilty of all charges and specifications.
U.S. vs. E-4. Nobody Interrogates the Babysitter. “Shaken Baby” Allegations Dismissed after Aggressive Defense at Article 32 Hearing.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with Article 128 and Article 134, UCMJ, regarding an injury his daughter sustained while in the care of a babysitter on 28 November 2009. The CID file and medical information all indicated that the injury could only have occurred during the eight hour period when the infant was in the custody of the babysitter; however, CID insisted that neither the civilian babysitter, nor the civilian wife could have possibly harmed the child, even though Mr. Gapasin’s client was in contact with her for only 15 to 35 minutes. A report by the leading Child Abuse expert in the Military indicated that any previous injuries to the child were accidental, exceptfor the broken femur sustained. Medical personnel opined it could only have occurred during the eight hour period that the child was in the custody of the babysitter. The expert’s report also indicated that the child was born with toxoplasmosis, a rare disease that affects neurological, ophthalmological, and bone density development. The Article 32 Hearing involved conflicting testimony from most of the CID agents involved, and we were able to show that CID never considered the babysitter a suspect solely because she is a civilian. Under cross-examination by Mr. Gapasin, the agents always considered my client a suspect but failed to read him his rights before obtaining swornstatements from him. Mr. Gapasin also elicited testimony how one of the agents hadengaged in a pattern of “doctoring” CID reports. The Investigating Officerrecommended dismissal of all charges. Based on this recommendation, the case against Mr. Gapasin’s client was dismissed without prejudice.
U.S. v. E-6. Estranged Wife Accuses Military Policeman of Domestic Violence, Possessing and Viewing Child Pornography, and Molesting her Twelve-Year Old Daughter. Aggressive, Solid Defense Results in Full Acquittal of All Charges and Specifications
Mr. Gapasin’s client was an MP stationed at Camp Zama, Japan who was charged with two specifications of indecent acts against his twelve-year old daughter, and two specifications for the use and possession of child pornography on his home computer. His estranged wife, also an NCO, made all accusations. Just days before trial, Mr. Gapasin’s client was offered a Chapter 10 with a General, Under Honorable Conditions Discharge. A Chapter 10 is a type of discharge that occurs in lieu of going to court-martial. After speaking with Mr. Gapasin and co-counsel Mr. Timothy Bilecki, the client turned down the Chapter 10 and opted instead to go to trial, thereby risking a possible guilty finding that could result in over 15 years of confinement and sex offender registration. A 5-day trial ensued. Mr. Gapasin and Mr. Bilecki exposed considerable flaws in the prosecutor’s investigation on how the alleged child pornography was downloaded. Mr. Gapasin cross-examined the daughter, eliciting evidence that the alleged 12-year old victim daughter clearly lied in accusing Mr. Gapasin’s client of molesting her. The evidence pointed to her clear motives to lie and ruin the client’s career because her mother brainwashed her. Mr. Gapasin and Mr. Bilecki argued that the mother did this so she could win custody of their daughter after a pending divorce. After five days of heated litigation, the Court found the client Not Guilty of All Charges and Specifications.
U.S. vs. O-3. Special Forces Unit Wrongfully Accuse Their Own Soldier and Instead Takes Sides With Untruthful Wife. Defense Never Quits. Full Acquittal of Seventeen (17) Specifications.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was a soldier with First Special Forces (Airborne) based out of Okinawa, Japan. He was a team leader who was charged with 17 specifications under the UCMJ: three specifications for willfully disobeying orders; failing to pay BAH to his spouse who he is separated from; failing to obey orders to sign in with the staff duty officer; disobeying a lawful order by possessing a fixed-blade knife with a blade longer than three inches (although he was charged with this, most of the Soldiers in Special Forces had fixed-blade knives with blades longer than three inches — including the former XO, who had a knife with a blade longer than three inches placed on his bookshelf behind his office desk); Mr. Gapasin’s client was also charged with two specifications for submitting a false official statement. He was also charged with two specifications under Article 120 for the sexual assault of his estranged spouse; two specifications of aggravated assault; one specification of obstruction of justice; and charged with specifications under Article 133 for allegedly tape-recording a conversation involving his spouse and family members without either party’s consent; also for the wrongful wear of military ribbons and awards, as well as other accusations of physical, verbal, and mental abuse against his spouse. All allegations began when theclient’s spouse spoke to a physician at Lester Naval Hospital regarding pain to her vagina and intestines. This physician reported allegations of sexual assault. Testimony after testimony revealed that the unit went overboard with charging Mr. Gapasin’s client. The alleged victim’s testimony was simply not credible, and she clearly embellished and exaggerated. Mr. Gapasin litigated this trial with co-counsel Mr. Michael Waddington for five days. At the end of this five-day trial, the Officer Panel at Camp Zama, Japan found Mr. Gapasin’s client Not Guilty of all Charges and Specifications.
U.S. vs. E-6. NCO Charged with BAH Fraud. Thorough Trial Preparation Reveals Minor Miscommunication, Not Blatant Lie. Results in Nothing More than Letter of Reprimand.
Their client was an IRR Soldier who was assigned to HRC-St. Louis. He was charged with BAH fraud because he changed his permanent address/home of record from a former residence in Louisiana, to his mother’s address in Los Angeles after he got divorced and no longer resided in Louisiana. The client was charged under Articles 107, 121, and 132. His former chain of command assisted him in the process, and allowed him a break in service so that he could change his address and be in compliance with the regulations. A new chain of command took over and noticed that his address in Los Angeles was a business address. They questioned him and the client showed them his lease agreement between his mother’s husband and himself, and explained that he was using his mother’s business address for mail, which was easier for her. Defense viewed this case as a reserve issue with no DFAS input, and the Defense did not want to give the Government time to perfect its case. Therefore, Defense did not object to the Government’s immediate request for trial. The active-component trial counsel did not understand the reserve issues regarding the purposes, requirements and methods for updating addresses, and reserve component mobilizations and releases from active duty. Ultimately, the Government could not overcome the fact that DFAS never notified my client or his chain of command that he had done anything wrong. The client was convicted of false official statement. On sentencing, Mr. Gapasin argued that his client’s UCMJ orders were not drafted pursuant to AR 27-10 to allow for confinement. This was a strategic move made just prior to the Court’s sentence of the client. Mr. Gapasin and military counsel, Captain Krista Carpenter, essentially argued that the Court did not have the authority to sentence the client. Although the judge disagreed and ruled that Mr. Gapasin’s client had been properly extended for UCMJ purposes, the Court only sentenced Mr. Gapasin’s client to a letter of reprimand.
U.S. vs. E-7. Child Pornography Case. Mr. Gapasin Exposes Unethical Conduct by Military Law Enforcement. Mr. Gapasin Fights Relentlessly Allowing Client to Successfully Retire as an E-6 after 22 Years Of Dedicated Military Service.
Charges were preferred against Mr. Gapasin’s client for soliciting, distributing, receiving, and possessing images and videos of child pornography. The client possessed at least 625 images and videos of child pornography within a period of 6 months. Also, Mr. Gapasin’s client distributed at least 227 images and videos of child pornography toother individuals and received images and videos of child pornography from other individuals. The client also made and published notices and advertisements through Giga Tribe chats and emails seeking and offering to receive, exchange, distribute, and reproduce visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct. The clientalso possessed 3,979 images and videos of “child erotica.” Through cross-examination at the Article 32 Hearing, Mr. Gapasin exposed how the lead CID agent modified the Agent’s Investigation Report (AIRs) in order to hide from the defense a problem withthe chain of custody to crucial evidence. Mr. Gapasin elicited testimony by this agent that he had modified the AIR to reflect an “unbroken” chain of custody of the evidence.Under cross-examination, the CID agent admitted he knew that the Defense would review the AIRs. Defense used this clear violation as a means to reach an acceptable deal. The client had previously provided CID with two incriminating sworn statements as well as a consent to search all of his personal hard drives. The court rendered an adjudged sentence of 6 months confinement and reduction to E-4. Mr. Gapasin did not quit there, and fought hard for clemency. Mr. Gapasin prepared a solid clemency case to the Convening Authority. The Convening Authority reinstated Mr. Gapasin’s client to E-6, allowing him to retire after a 22 year career.
U.S. vs. E-5. Enlisted Panel Believes the Client, Not Law Enforcement. Never Say Die Attitude by Defense Lawyers Results in Acquittal of Sex Assault Charges.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with three specifications of sexual assault against three separate purported victims. The client was also charged with onespecification of aggravated assault, and one specification of false official statement. The case was preferred in September 2008, but did not go to trial until October 2010. Approximately two months before the trial, a fourth charge of rape was preferred regarding a fourth Private. This fourth charge for rape was not included in the referral of the charges for the prior three allegations. Despite the client’s three sworn statements to military law enforcement wherein the statements included considerable detail about the alleged sexual assaults, e.g., pressing his hand against one of the Private’s mouths, the Defense advised the client to take the stand and testify in order to clarify what he actually said versus what law enforcement typed down. The client contested the wording of the sworn statements as well as the testimony of his three accusers. Mr. Gapasin’s client was found Not Guilty of all three sex assault charges, thus saving him from registering as a sex offender. The court-martial took over two years from preferral to trial, and included video depositions at Fort Carson, and two Article 32 hearings in Korea. Because Mr. Gapasin and co-counsel Mr. Frank Spinner fought hard on the client’s behalf, he was able to move on to civilian life without registering as a sex offender.
U.S. vs. E-5. Cross-Examination of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Reveals Non-Credible Evidence of Bruising Due to Assault. Results in Sergeant Cleared of Sexual Assault, Gets No Punishment.
Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with one specification of rape, one specification of aggravated sexual assault and one specification of false official statement. The sexual assault charge stemmed from a sexual encounter the client had with a female Soldier at Camp Zama, Japan in 2008. The second sexual assault charge stemmed from a sexual encounter he had with a different female Soldier at Camp Zama, Japan in mid 2009. In both instances, Mr. Gapasin’s client is alleged to have gone to the Camp Zama Club (an on post entertainment facility) with the females and later engaged in sexual acts with them against their will. The client already received an Article 15 for the first charge back in early 2008; however, prosecutors re-charged the same offense to paint the client as a serial rapist. In the second charge, Mr. Gapasin’s client was alleged to have physically restrained the alleged victim while violently raping her inside of another Soldier’s barracks room until someone walked in on them while they were having sex. Prosecutors pointed to the multiple bruises on the second alleged victim thus showing the amount of force and violence used by the client. This was rebutted, however, by Mr. Gapasin’s cross-examination. Under questioning by Mr. Gapasin, the prosecutor’s own Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner testified that the dark coloration of the bruises in relation to the timeline provided by the alleged victim revealed that the bruises could not have occurred when she claims to have been assaulted. Mr. Gapasin also exposed the reasonable possibility that the bruises occurred from PT rather than from an assault. Mr. Gapasin and co-counsel Mr. Timothy Bilecki also attacked law enforcement for notproperly testing the DNA evidence and conducting a sloppy investigation. The enlisted panel acquitted the accused of rape.
U.S. vs. E-4. Four Confessions. Defense Leaves No Stone Unturned. Defense Exposes Minor Injuries of the Infant Child Resulting in Minor Punishment
On 23 September 2008, “Baby R”, an alleged victim of “shaken baby syndrome,” began having seizures at approximately 1615. “Baby R” was taken to the emergency room where she was diagnosed with extensive subdural hematomas. The child sustained a large subdural collection of fluid and she showed signs of retinal hemorrhaging. She was also diagnosed with epilepsy when admitted to the emergency room. “Baby R” was transported to Tripler Medical Center in Hawaii in order to receive specialized treatment and she was treated at Tripler over the next few weeks. Mr. Gapasin’s client was charged with two specifications of false official statement, two specifications of assault consummated by a battery against a child under 16 years of age with a force likely to produce death or grievous bodily harm, and one specification of unlawfully striking a child under 16 years of age (i.e., “Baby R’s” two year old brother). The defense obtained the expertise of a Child Abuse Pediatrician with the Armed Forces Center for Child Protection National Naval Medical Center. She became the defense expert consultant in the field of pediatrics and accidental and non-accidental physical injuries. The expert was necessary to aid the defense in determining the amount of force used. The defense also obtained an expert in the field of pediatric ophthalmology regarding retinal hemorrhages suffered by the child. In this case, it was alleged that “Baby R” would suffer blindness as a result of the injuries. In shaken baby cases, injuries to the eyes are frequently an issue. With a few weeks left before trial, the Government remained steadfast that the accused should be sentenced to up to 10 years of confinement. The defense understood, however, that the deposition testimony of two Oklahoma physicians could be key in obtaining a satisfactory guilty on behalf of the accused. Based on depositions that the defense fought hard to obtain, the doctors testified on video that in their medical opinion about 1 year after the incident, “Baby R” was alert and active with normal faculties like any other child. Contrary to the speculation expressed by the doctors who provided the initial treatment, the Oklahoma doctors testified that in their medical opinion, the child’s condition had returned to normal and that she would live a normal, active life. As a result, the parties entered into a guilty plea where the prosecutors came down from their original 10 years to only 6 months confinement.
U.S. v. E-7. Rape Case Against Reservist Dismissed Thanks To Strategic Cross-Examination.
The reservist E-7 who was accused of forcible rape in an apartment complex. Thanks to aggressive investigating by Mr. Gapasin, and a detailed cross-examination of the alleged victim by Mr. Gapasin, the Investigating Officer at the Article 32 hearing did not find her claims on nonconsensual sex to be credible. Mr. Gapasin strategically cross-examined the alleged victim to reveal to the Investigating Officer the number of inconsistencies between her testimony and prior text messages, Facebook posts, and emails.
U.S. v. E-5. Full Acquittal In Rape Case Against NCO In Okinawa.
The E-5 client was fully acquitted of rape after facts revealed that the alleged victim had been exaggerating her supposed fear. Based on the testimony, she was never scared of fearful of the client.
U.S. v. E-3. Rape Charges Are Dismissed In High-Profile International Case.
A number of international media outlets covered this high-profile case in Okinawa, Japan. Protests on Okinawa streets persisted throughout the court-martial. However, cross-examination of alleged Filipina victim at Article 32 and depositions taken in Manila, Philippines resulted in the full dismissal of rape charges.
There are a number of cases that Mr. Gapasin had negotiated for reducing a General Courts-Martial or Special Courts-Martial to nothing more than nonjudicial punishment. There are other cases that Mr. Gapasin fought hard for a Chapter 10 in lieu of a Court-Martial in order to save the client from protracted criminal litigation as well as a Federal conviction. Further yet, there are also cases Mr. Gapasin obtained testimonial immunity on behalf of his client in order to protect them from serious convictions for offenses such as negligent homicide, high-level drug distribution, and even aiding and abetting in a high-profile case involving murder and alleged war crimes in Afghanistan. Clearly, not every case can be reported. If you retain Mr. Gapasin of Newsom & Gapasin, you can be confident that you are retaining counsel who is experienced in the serious legal issues you are facing.