United States v. Cain

59 M.J. 285 (2004)

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United States v. Cain

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
59 M.J. 285 (2004)

Facts

Sergeant Billy E. Cain (defendant) was charged with three specifications of forcible sodomy. Major S., who knew that Cain was homosexual, assigned himself as Cain’s lead military counsel. Early in their attorney-client relationship, Major S. initiated a sexual relationship with Cain. Cain was unhappy about the nature of the relationship but was afraid to end it because he believed that Major S. was the only attorney who could adequately represent him, and he was worried about possible retaliation. Cain refused to plead guilty to forcible sodomy because he maintained that his alleged victims had consented. On Major S.’s advice, Cain pleaded guilty to indecent assault. After the case was resolved, Cain’s parents sent the convening authority a letter alleging that Major S. had pressured Cain for sexual favors. Shortly after he was notified about the letter, Major S. committed suicide. Cain requested a new trial, alleging that he had received ineffective assistance of counsel because his sexual relationship with Major S. had created a conflict of interest. The United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals held an evidentiary hearing and denied Cain’s request. Cain appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Effron, J.)

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