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Gapasin's Pre-Preferral Representation Results In DISMISSAL Of Allegations

January 2022

January 5, 2023, U.S. v. E-4, United States Air Force, Osan Air Force Base, Pyeongtaek, South Korea.  Senior Airman is investigated for an Article 120c sex offense involving his foreign national girlfriend. He is accused of secretly recording and distributing videos he allegedly took of himself and the girlfriend having sexual intercourse without her knowledge or permission. Senior Airman retains Mr. Gapasin to represent him during the investigation. Mr. Gapasin immediately seeks to get the investigation dismissed on the basis that the girlfriend changes her story. Rather than continue with her allegations that she had no knowledge of the recording, she admits to Gapasin during his pre-preferral witness interview that she was, in fact, aware of the recording. Based on her admission, Mr. Gapasin clarifies what her story is and she fully admits that she was aware of the recording. As a result, and at her request,, he provides direction to the girlfriend as she goes in to speak with Korean prosecutors about her allegations. The Air Force intends to use her statement and what the Korean prosecutors report from their investigation as the basis for a possible preferral of charges against Gapasin's client. The Koreans could also maintain the case and decide to prosecute Gapasin's client under SOFA rules ("Status of Forces Agreement"), which places Gapasin's client in a difficult position. Gapasin advises the girlfriend. She speaks with Korean prosecutors and interviews with investigators. The Koreans subsequently dismiss the entire case against Gapasin's client. The girlfriend's statement as well as the Korean prosecutors' dismissal of the case are then used by the United States Air Force in determining whether the military will or will not prefer charges against Gapasin's client under Article 120c, UCMJ.  RESULT: Air Force DECLINES TO PROSECUTE. Investigation CLOSED. 

Ernesto Gapasin