Child and Military Sexual Assault Cases
Offenses committed against children and sexual assaults are especially reprehensible crimes. Mr. Culp is a husband, and a father, and with this in mind, makes choices about who he represents and who he does not represent. Mr. Culp only represents present and past service members of the U.S. military and chooses not to represent civilians accused of crimes. Similarly, whether or not you are in the military, if Mr. Culp believes, after carefully considering all available facts and circumstances of your case, that you have intentionally committed offenses against children, or that you have actually commited a sexual assault, he will decline your representation.
But, having defended erroneous sexual assault cases in the military for nearly two decades, Mr. Culp is acutely aware that there will always be a number of sexual assault allegations in the military that are falsely motivated. While various interests groups and statistics claim that the rate of false sexual assault allegations in the military is very low (allegedly between 3% and 5%), the lawyers who regularly practice military law, both prosecutors and defense counsel, know the actual numbers are higher than alleged.
Likewise, it is no secret to military justice practitioners that while the war against sexual assault in the military was rightly motivated, and has indeed caused an increase in the number of sexual assault prosecutions, it has also unfortunatley inspired an increase in the rate of false sexual assault accusations. In an effort to battle the complex issue of under-reported sexual assaults in the military, a large number of new rules and regulations have been adopted which have, in and of themselves, created strong unintended incentives to falsely claim sexual assault. These new rules include the promise to forgive alleged victims of their collateral misconduct (i.e., curfew violations, fraternization, adultery, and under-age drinking) and also require that servicemembers who claim sexual assault are to be immediately relocated to their assignment of choice.
Meanwhile, while many of the new sexual assault rules adopted by the military are incentivizing false claims of sexual assault, other new sexual assault rules that have gone into effect have stripped away our service members' abilities to defend themselves against the false accusations. One of these new rules prevent defense counsel (military and civilian alike) from cross-examining alleged sexual assualt victims at Article 32 pre-trial hearings. In fact, the new rules passed into law by Congress by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014 make all alleged sexual assault victims "unavailable" to testify as a witness at Article 32 pre-trial hearings. While civilian law makers claim the new rules make the Uniform Code of Justice more resemble the rules that have been adopted in the state and federal courts, they have overlooked a frightening fact: Whereas a criminal conviction in state and federal courts require a uninimous jury verdict, only a 2/3d's vote by a military jury (the panel) is required to convict a servicemember of a crime, any crime, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. In other words, if you are accused of a crime in the military, you should understand that in the event your defense counsel, military or civilian, cannot convince one third of the jury, plus one additional jury member, that you are innocent, you will be found guilty of the crime(s) alleged against you. Even more important, and more alarming, is that growing numbers of leaders in the military have been conditioned to believe an accusation of sexual assault is true until it is proven to be false.
Mr. Culp has been defending against false sexual assault allegations in the military since 2000. There is likely no another attorney in the country that has achieved a higher rate of dismissals and acquittals for servicemembers falsely accused of sexual assault than Mr. Culp.