Solorio v. United States

483 U.S. 435 (1987)

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Solorio v. United States

United States Supreme Court
483 U.S. 435 (1987)

Facts

Richard Solorio (defendant), a member of the Coast Guard stationed in Juneau, Alaska, sexually abused the daughters of two other coastguardsmen. The abuse, which occurred over the course of two years, occurred at Solorio’s privately owned home. The abuse was not discovered until after Solorio was transferred to Governors Island, New York. A subsequent investigation revealed that Solorio had also abused children of other coastguardsmen while stationed in New York. The New York offenses occurred in government quarters on the Governors Island base. The Governors Island commander convened a general court-martial to try Solorio for both the Alaska and New York offenses. Solorio moved to dismiss the Alaska charges, arguing that the court-martial lacked jurisdiction because the offenses had occurred off-base and thus were not sufficiently service-connected. The court-martial judge dismissed the Alaska charges, and the United States government (plaintiff) appealed. The United States Coast Guard Court of Military Review reinstated the charges, reasoning that the offenses were sufficiently service-connected because they had a continuing effect on the victims, their families, and the morale of the military unit. The United States Court of Military Appeals affirmed, and the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)

Concurrence (Stevens, J.)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

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