United States v. Carson

57 M.J. 410 (2002)

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United States v. Carson

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
57 M.J. 410 (2002)

Facts

Army Sergeant Claude Carson (defendant) took off his pants near a new female private under his command, supposedly to change clothes. Carson then called attention to himself and did not bother to cover up his exposed penis when the private was required to look in his direction. The private later said that the experience made her feel like a victim. A general court-martial was convened to try Carson for multiple crimes involving sexual misbehavior. Several of the charges were for maltreatment of Carson’s subordinates and involved sexual harassment or indecent exposure, including Carson’s harassment of the female private. At the end of the trial, Carson’s attorney moved to dismiss the maltreatment charges. Carson’s attorney claimed that actual physical or mental harm was a necessary element of a maltreatment charge and that no evidence had been submitted that the subordinates had actually been physically or mentally harmed by Carson’s harassment. The court-martial judge dismissed the argument and found Carson guilty of five charges of maltreatment. Carson appealed. On appeal, Carson argued that, without evidence of actual physical or mental harm, the trial evidence was legally insufficient to support the maltreatment convictions. The United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the maltreatment convictions. Carson appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Effron, J.)

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