Following two Article 32 Preliminary Hearings resulting in Recommendations For Dismissal, the Government DISMISSES the Charge and Specification of Rape.
August 10, 2017, U.S. v. E-6, United States Air Force, 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.