Navy court-martial results for november 2016 - 66% acquittal rate in contested sexual assault cases
Even though every case is unique, once again the numbers seem to support choosing a jury over a guilty plea or judge.
The Navy held 21 courts-martial in November 2016. This blog has previously reported that the Navy dealt out about 75% of their cases in October. In November, there were 14 guilty pleas (66%). The number of deals is still high in our view.
Looking at contested cases, there were seven. Four cases were heard by a jury. Three cases were sexual assaults. Only the officer was found guilty by the jury. The other two cases were full acquittals (66%). Even though the sample size is small - 66% acquittal rate seems about right service-wide.
The guilty plea cases all had pretrial agreements. Negotiated pleas usually have reasonable terms. We're not going to analyze those cases.
In the Naval District for Washington, an officer was found guilty by a jury of sexual assault and sentenced to 30 months and a dismissal.
In Norfolk, an E-2 was found not guilty by a jury of sexual assault.
In Norfolk, a petty officer had a mixed verdict from a jury for indecent acts. He received a reprimand, reduction in rank, 1-year confinement, and no discharge.
In Norfolk, a Sailor was found not guilty of adultery by a judge.
In Pensacola, an E-3 was found not guilty by a jury of sexual assault.
In Mayport, a petty officer was found guilty by a judge of attempted indecent recording. He received 60 days confinement and a bad conduct discharge.
In Yokuska, a military judge found a Sailor not guilty of assault consummated by battery.