Supreme Court – (Military) Retirees Can Be Court-Martialed for Crimes Committed After Service
Military.com | By Patricia Kime 22 Feb 2019 https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/02/22/supreme-court-retirees-can-be-court-martialed-crimes-committed-after-service.html
The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Defense Department’s authority to prosecute retired service members for crimes they commit, even after retirement.
The court on Tuesday chose not to hear the case of a retired Marine who was court-martialed for a sexual assault he committed three months after leaving the service in August 2015. By not accepting the case, Larrabee v. the United States, the court upheld the status quo: that military retirees are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The denial of Larrabee’s petition marks the high court’s second rebuff in a year of a case involving a military retiree accused of non-military crimes in retirement.
Retired Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Steven Larrabee was convicted of sexually assaulting a bartender, the wife of an active-duty Marine, at a bar in Iwakuni, Japan, where he worked as a civilian. He had been retired — technically, placed on the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve status list — for three months.
Following a general court-martial in which he wore civilian clothes, Larrabee was sentenced to eight years’ confinement, a reprimand and a dishonorable discharge. In a pre-trial agreement, Larrabee’s prison term was reduced to 10 months.
Larrabee served his sentence but tried to have his conviction overturned on appeal, arguing that he should have been tried in a civilian court, as the offenses occurred after he was retired.
The case closely resembles that of retired Gunnery Sgt. Derek Dinger who, also while living on Okinawa and on the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve list and, later, the Active Duty Retired List, was found to be in possession of and producing child pornography. He was arrested and initially indicted within the civilian courts, but his case ended up in the military court system, where he was convicted and sentenced to nine years’ confinement and a dishonorable discharge.
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