Rape is an incredibly serious criminal charge for which Mr. Karns has represented numerous service members. It is the type of offense for which the accused is often prejudged to be guilty, regardless of the evidence. Just being accused of rape can have a significant personal impact and potentially ruin a career. If an allegation of rape is made against you, it must be aggressively defended in order to avoid a rush to judgment against you. If the case against you is not defended properly and it results in a conviction, you could be faced with the maximum punishment of life in prison and sex offender registration. It is imperative to have an experienced military attorney such as Mr. Karns defend you against this type of accusation.
Many rape cases are based on circumstantial evidence—they are the result of a "he said, she said" situation, one in which the government has relied solely upon the statement given by an accuser to charge you with the offense. Often alcohol is involved and events are distorted or exaggerated. The accuser may have less than a clear memory of what happened and when and may even have ulterior motives for making the accusation. Because it is a sex crime, the accused is often perceived as guilty prior to any due process or opportunity to present his side of the case. In addition, the government often relies on witnesses who may have personal biases against the accused, or whose credibility is otherwise tainted. Mr. Karns can examine the government's evidence against you, including the statements of its witnesses. As an experienced military attorney, Mr. Karns can develop the circumstances of the case which are favorable to your side of the story and expose the biases and discredit the testimony of the witnesses being used against you. An experienced military attorney is indispensable to developing evidence for your side of the case, as well as dismantling the case that has been made against you.
Because rape cases can engender sympathy for the accuser, it can be difficult for the public and jurors to neutrally examine and scrutinize the facts—even if you have been falsely accused. It takes an experienced military attorney such as Mr. Karns to get the jury to focus on the facts in a manner and to the degree that will afford you a fair trial.
Client was a Soldier in training at Ft. Eustis, VA, who went out with a group of friends from training, including females, and stayed in a hotel. Client was having sex with one of the female Soldiers in the hotel bathroom when another Soldier walked in. The Soldier filmed Client and the female Soldier having sex for a minute and left. A few days later, it got out that Client and the female Soldier had sex. The First Sergeant interviewed the group, and the female Soldier stated that she didn’t remember what happened. The First Sergeant told her, “you’re either lying or you got raped.” Client was then investigated for rape and hired Mr. Karns. Mr. Karns contacted Client’s CO and the legal advisor to the CO in an effort to keep Client from being charged with rape. Client’s CO agreed not to charge Client and gave him an Art. 15 for continuing to have sex with the female Soldier while being videotaped. The Art. 15 did not go in his permanent record since he was a junior enlisted. He graduated from training and PCS’d without any further hindrance to his career.
Client was under investigation for sexual assault in connection with a night of drinking with other male soldiers and a married female soldier. Client hired Mr. Karns after he was contacted by CID who informed him of the investigation and requested his statement. Mr. Karns persuaded Client’s command that even though there was sexual contact between the female soldier and the other male soldiers, Client was not guilty of any impropriety and that the female soldier’s claims lacked credibility. No charges were subsequently filed against Client, and he received an Honorable Discharge when he was separated for medical reasons not related to the case.
Client was a Petty Officer 2nd Class in the Navy who was accused of attempted sexual assault, disobeying a lawful order, assault, and burglary. After a night of clubbing and drinking, Client returned to the barracks with a female sailor whom he knew only casually. While in her room they undressed, showered, and had some level of sexual activity. During the incident, the female sailor began screaming and throwing things in an attempt to get Client to leave her room. After Client was arrested, he hired Mr. Karns who pointed out to Client's command that there was no physical or other corroborating evidence regarding the female sailor's claim, nor was she a credible witness herself. Client's command dropped all charges and resolved the case by giving client extra military instruction.
Client was an activated reservist and a law enforcement officer as a civilian. While in Iraq, he found out that a female co-worker accused him of rape. Client and the female soldier had shared a hotel room with two other soldiers during a weekend of pre-deployment training. Everyone went to dinner and Client later returned to the room alone. The remaining soldiers went to the hotel bar and drank. The female soldier returned to the room, had sex with Client, and left to go back to the bar. A couple of days later, her boyfriend noticed bruises on her and pressured her into claiming that she was raped by Client. Everyone had deployed, including Client who, because he was placed under investigation, was ordered to return to the US. Client hired Mr. Karns who contacted Client's command. After lengthy negotiations, and despite the fact that Client failed a polygraph, Client's command agreed to give him a company grade Article 15 and discharged him from active duty with an Honorable Discharge.
Army SPC was charged with obstruction of justice and false official statement at a special court-martial for allegedly assisting a fellow soldier who was charged with rape. Client became under investigation after the fellow soldier was charged and witnesses claimed that Client assisted the soldier by destroying evidence. Mr. Karns traveled to Balad, Iraq to represent Client at the court-martial where he was found not guilty. Client soon redeployed back to the States and received an Honorable Discharge.
Marine Corporal was indicted by a civilian grand jury for raping a civilian female after a house party had died down. Client admitted to the detectives that the complainant had a lot to drink, threw up, and passed out in a bedroom. He admitted that after everyone left the party, he went into the bedroom along with a co-defendant to “check up on her.” Eventually, the co-defendant and the complainant had sex. Client denied having sex with the complainant, but she claimed she was raped by both the Client and the co-defendant. Client hired Attorney Karns. The prosecutor offered to settle the case if Client would plead guilty to a lesser offense. Attorney Karns advised Client not to accept the offer but proceed to trial, even though he was facing up to twenty years confinement and having to register for life as a sex offender if convicted. After Client rejected his offer, Attorney Karns explained to the prosecutor that the complainant claimed that she was raped because she had an ex-boyfriend that she wanted to get back together with and was worried that he would find out about her spending the night at the co-defendant's house. A few weeks prior to the trial, the prosecutor dismissed all charges against Client.
NCO charged with rape and adultery. General Court-Martial panel returned verdict of Not Guilty on both charges.
Soldier charged with rape and sodomy. General Court-Martial panel returned a verdict of guilty on a reduced charge of indecent acts and guilty on the sodomy charge. Mr. Karns convinced the Division Commanding General not to approve the court-martial panel's verdict and thus clearing the soldier of all charges.
Army Specialist was charged with rape and sodomy by force. Charges were preferred after a female NCO claimed that she was raped and sodomized by force by Client after going to the Client's room and passing out. She reported she was raped the next day, and while at the hospital, a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner examined her and found that she had multiple vaginal lacerations, one which was 4.5 cm long. Upon being interviewed, Client admitted to CID that he knew she was "extremely drunk." Another witness who saw her minutes before testified that she was "falling down drunk."
During a lengthy cross-examination of the NCO at the Article 32 hearing, Mr. Karns got her to admit that even though she was very intoxicated, she understood the nature of the acts and did not clearly communicate to Client that she was not consenting to the acts. Mr. Karns also exposed that: 1) she offered no resistance, 2) was married at the time of the incident and may have claimed rape to avoid a charge of adultery, and 3) may have claimed rape because she was afraid that word would get out to the unit that she had sex with a junior enlisted. Despite there being a lower standard of proof ("reasonable grounds") at an Article 32 hearing to determine whether charges should be referred to a court-martial, the Investigating Officer recommend that charges not be referred. Subsequently, the commander directed that all charges be dismissed.
USAF Staff Sergeant was charged with sexually assaulting a fellow airman while she was “substantially incapacitated” at Davis-Monthan AFB. On the evening in question, the accuser's friend invited Client out to have drinks with her and the accuser. After having several drinks, they all went to the accuser's friend's house. The accuser and her friend said the accuser went to a spare bedroom to go “pass out.” While the accuser's friend was in the kitchen cooking something to eat, Client went into the bedroom and had sex with the accuser. The next morning the accuser said Client raped her because she didn't want to have sex with him and couldn't physically or verbally resist his advances due to her intoxication.
At the Article 32 hearing, Attorney Karns called a series of witnesses to testify as to the Client's good character and outstanding duty performance in addition to calling witnesses to testify as to the accuser's poor character for truthfulness. During Attorney Karns' cross-examination of the accuser, he was able to demonstrate that the accuser had just broken up with her boyfriend and wanted to get back together with him, but was worried that he would find out that she had sex with the Client.
Attorney Karns was also able to demonstrate that the accuser got back together with her boyfriend and that he and her command pushed her to make an official allegation of rape when she didn't really want to. Despite there being a lower standard of proof ("reasonable grounds") at an Article 32 hearing to determine whether charges should be referred to a court-martial, the Investigating Officer recommended that charges not be referred.