Navy E-7 was investigated by civilian police and NCIS for sexual assault upon a civilian female. Upon retention, we contacted the civilian police, NCIS and our client's command to immediately terminate efforts to interview our client. Our client was then served with an emergency protective order entered against him by the civilian court. When we appeared at the protective order hearing, Greg McCormack subjected the complainant to extensive cross examination, having a court reporter to transcribe that testimony for use in the defense of the sexual assault accusations. The civilian court dismissed the protective order after the cross examination. Once we had the transcript from that hearing, we contacted the civilian detective and advised that we would agree with our client being interviewed at the NCIS office, with Greg McCormack being present at all times during the interview. During that interview, we provided a copy of the transcript from the protective order hearing to both the civilian detective and NCIS. Eventually we were advised the civilian prosecutor did not intend to prosecute, however the case remained under investigation by NCIS. Prior to the commencement of the investigation, our client had been selected to be commissioned as an officer, however his commissioning was put in a hold status pending the investigation. After the civilian prosecutor declined to prosecute, our client was permitted to proceed with his commissioning, however we still had not received final word as to the Navy investigation. Several months later, our client finally received orders to his new command, with the investigation being closed in his favor.
Our client was charged with several felony sexual offenses in Isle of Wight County, and was being held without bond. At the conclusion of the preliminary hearing – where we succeeded in getting one of the three charges dismissed – we requested the judge consider the matter of bond. When facing such serious charges, there is a presumption of no bond, however after hearing our argument, the judge GRANTED our client bond.
Our client was charged with several felony sexual offenses in Isle of Wight County. During preparations for a contested jury trial, we received discovery which indicated that both our client's as well as the alleged victim's DNA was likely on an item recovered from our client's home – evidence that would have been difficult to explain at trial. Upon instituting plea negotiations with the prosecutor, it was made immediately clear that the Commonwealth Attorney's Office was looking to convict on a felony offense which required lifetime registration as a sex offender. After conveying to the prosecutor that we were prepared to fight the case in front of a jury, as well as advising that our client was not going to plead to any felony or any crime requiring sex offender registration, we were finally able to get the prosecutor to agree to an acceptable offer. Our client entered an Alford plea of guilty (wherein he did not admit guilt; only that he acknowledged the strength of the Commonwealth's evidence against him) to two REDUCED MISDEMEANOR charges of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 15, which DO NOT REQUIRE SEX OFFENDER REGISTRATION, and was sentenced to an additional three and a half months in jail.