Criminal and Administrative Cases

Below are real cases that our lawyers have defended. Note: These are real case results from cases that Michael and Alexandra have personally defended. However, all cases are different. A success in one case does not guarantee success in another similar case. We do not guarantee a certain outcome, to do so violates the Rules of Professional Responsibility. In addition, the results of the case often depend on the facts, whether the client follows our advice and the stage of the proceeding at which our services are retained. Please call us with any questions or for clarification.

THESE RECENT CASES SHOW THAT IN THE MILITARY, THE DEFENDANT IS GUILTY UNLESS & UNTIL THE SERVICE MEMBER CAN PROVE HIS OR HER INNOCENCE, ESPECIALLY IN A SEXUAL ASSAULT CASE. The accused needs the highest powered defense possible, even if they are innocent. Otherwise, their rights will be trampled and they may end up in jail.

U.S. v. Navy O-3 –Naval Base Coronado, CA – tried at Naval Base San Diego, CA

Before #MeToo was a movement, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was advocating for “victims’ rights” and attacking men — in the military, on campus, and in her own party.

Allegations: 6 Specifications of Article 120 Rape/Sexual Assault – Two Alleged Victims
Max Punishment: 120 years in prison, Dismissal, Sex offender registration
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Sentence: NONE
Discharge: NONE
Location/Branch/Rank: Naval Base Coronado, San Diego, CA/Navy/O-3

Navy SEAL acquitted in rape case – Click here to read the news article.

Summary: 

Our client, a Navy SEAL officer, was accused of raping two women that allegedly did not know each other. Both “victims” were attractive white women with professional careers. Both were heavily coached by the Navy’s top prosecutor.

How it All Began…

“Victim One” was a 38-year-old physician’s assistant. She met our client on Bumble, a dating app. She worked as a surgeon at a local hospital. She was well educated, physically fit, and well spoken.

Victim One claimed that she went to our client’s apartment because they were going out for drinks. She told the police that when she entered his apartment, he assaulted her. For four hours, she fought him off and he eventually raped her. The next day, she filed an official report with the San Diego Police Department. She went to the hospital where a nurse conducted a Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE). Afterward, Victim One called our client and recorded the phone call. Our client denied assaulting her and told her that he was sorry that she was upset.

Then, Victim One encouraged another woman, Victim Two, to claim that our client raped her as well. The defense did not learn of this fact until right before trial.

The second woman was also a professional woman that was attractive and well spoken. This was a challenge for the defense because male jurors tend to believe attractive female witnesses, especially if they are the victim. Needless to say, our client faced an uphill battle.

The Link – a Frog Hog & Local Gossip

It was crucial that we found some link between the two women. We used a private investigator, but he found nothing. As the trial date approached, we caught a break. The women had a mutual friend that was a Navy SEAL groupie (a “frog hog” as known by locals) and a local San Diego gossip. She connected the two when she learned that both knew our client. Behind the scenes, this Frog Hog played a key role in fanning the flames and trying to push the case forward.

According to Urban Dictionary: A “Frog Hog” is “a slutty woman whose primary goal is to get her hooks into a Navy SEAL.”

“A Frog Hog is an obsessive woman who will do anything just to be associated with Navy SEALs. Frog Hogs use the internet to find every Navy SEAL possible on Facebook, past or present, and “like” and comment on every single thing that any Navy SEAL posts on their profile, and do so with an enormous degree of ass kissing. They also read through everyone’s comments on that particular SEAL’s profile and can figure out who other Navy SEALs are by creeping on their Facebook pages. They then friend request those men and exhibit the same kind of behavior. They also get overly dramatic in facebook arguments, and give their opinions when no one asked them to in the first place, and get extremely defensive over the SEALs that they stalk, even though they may have never met or barely know these men, yet act like they are best friends.”

#MeToo Movement

After they got connected, Victim One tried to convince Victim Two to accuse our client of rape. In one text, Victim One wrote, “We are stronger together.” Their text messages talked about the #MeToo movement, Harvey Weinstein, and defeating “rape culture” in America.

Navy Press Release

After the Command preferred charges, someone in the Navy leaked negative information to the media. The press went on to smear our client’s name leading up to the trial.

Before trial, the Military Judge ruled that we could not use much of the MRE 412 evidence that exposed the alleged victims. Thus, we were fighting with one arm tied behind our back and the jury was not able to get the full picture of who these women were.

As far as the jury knew, they were angels, which was far from the truth.

Trial By Jury

Mr. Waddington, our client, his family, & his SEAL buddies celebrate our victory at the Top of the Hyatt in San Diego.

Our client demanded a jury trial and we prepared for battle. The Navy assigned a female Commander (O-5), one of the most experienced prosecutors in the Naval Service, to try the case.

The challenge we faced was cross-examining these seemingly credible women. Both were well coached by the prosecution. Both took the stand and told their harrowing accounts of rape. Many witnesses testified against our client, including an NCIS agent, a digital forensic expert, a sex assault forensic examiner, and a San Diego Sex Crime Investigator. On cross-examination, the defense tore them apart.

After the government’s last witness, the defense rested and called no witnesses. The jury deliberated for an entire day before delivering a verdict of NOT GUILTY of all charges.

After the verdict, Mr. Waddington joined his client, his family, and his SEAL buddies for drinks at the Top of the Hyatt in San Diego.

U.S. v. Air Force O-3 – Los Angeles Air Force Base, Los Angeles, CA

Allegations: Wrongful Use of Cocaine – Article 112a, False Official Statement – Article 107
Max Punishment: 10 years in prison, Dismissal
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Sentence: NONE
Discharge: NONE
Location/Branch/Rank: Los Angeles Air Force Base, Los Angeles, CA/Air Force/O-3

Summary: 

Mr. Waddington with co-counsel celebrating our acquittal with our client, her family, and her supporters.

Our client was charged with using cocaine on several occasions and with lying on a Top Secret security clearance form. She faced 10 years in prison, a Federal Felony Drug Conviction, and a Dismissal. The prosecution had a 2-hour video of her alleged confession to OSI and a supposed handwritten OSI “confession.” OSI is shady, so we had to attack their investigation and show their bias and incompetence.

OSI then dug up dozens of her friends and was able to bully a few officers into testifying against her. The prosecution refused any type of plea deal as well as a resignation with an Other Than Honorable Discharge. They forced us to trial. The Government was so confident that they would win that the SJA was talking trash to Mr. Waddington before the trial.

Left with no options and ready to fight, Mr. Waddington and his ADC co-counsel, Capt Stuart Saylor, took the fight to the Government and fought all charges in front of an officer jury. At the end of the trial, Mr. Waddington and Capt Saylor went out for drinks, our client and her father included.

RESULT: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES. Click here to read what our client had to say about our representation.

U.S. v. Air Force E-2 –Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls, Montana

Allegations: Article 120 Rape
Max Punishment: 30 years in prison, Dishonorable Discharge, Sex offender registration
Result: All Charges Dismissed on the day of trial
Sentence: NONE
Discharge: NONE
Location/Branch/Rank: Malmstrom AFB, Great Falls, MT/Air Force/E-2

Summary: 

The defense team: Dr. Richard DeMier, Michael Waddington, Deanna Lankford, Vangie Barefoot, Capt Farnsworth, and Josiah Rolloff.

Our client was a 22-year-old African American airman that met a 38-year-old white woman, JT, at the Buffalo, a sleazy local bar. They had a six-week sexual relationship. Over time, their relationship fell apart. There was lots of fighting and other crazy behavior.

JT allegedly decided to end the relationship so she went to our client’s dorm to break up with him. Once inside, she said that he forcibly removed her pants and raped her. Afterward, she left his room and immediately called 911 immediately. The Great Falls Police and OSI started an investigation.

That night, JT went to the local emergency room for a SAFE (Sexual Assault Forensic Examination). Our client’s DNA was found on her vaginal swab. OSI conducted their typical biased investigation into our client. They looked for evidence to use against him and ignored evidence that proved his innocence. As usual, they took the alleged victim’s word as the truth and failed to look into her past, even though they knew that she was shady. This mistake came back to hurt them as the defense prepared for trial.

After a 9 month investigation, the Air Force charged our client with rape.

Our client submitted a Chapter 4 discharge in lieu of court-martial. If approved, he would have received an Other Than Honorable Discharge. The alleged victim, who had a history of criminal behavior and psychiatric problems, demanded that the Air Force reject the Chapter 4. The Air Force commander took the victim’s advice, denied the Chapter 4, and pressed forward to trial.

Defense Investigation Reveals a History of Criminal Misconduct

One of the bars we visited during our investigation.

Mr. Waddington defended the case with Capt Grant Farnsworth, one of the best ADCs in the Air Force. We conducted an extensive investigation that uncovered the “victim’s” seedy past.

-We learned that she previously falsely accused a sailor of rape and tried to extort money from him.

-She was a drug user. Two weeks before the trial, she and her sister were in drug rehab.

-She was living with a convicted Mexican drug trafficker named Julio Gonzalez.

-After getting involved with Julio, she infiltrated the Great Falls prison system by lying on a job application. She was then hired as a prison worker. She was later fired when the prison learned of her involvement with Julio and his gang of criminals. Julio was then arrested and sent to Federal Prison in California.

Despite these developments, the Air Force pressed forward to trial. Days before the court-martial, the Malmstrom Commander held a mandatory, base-wide briefing. At the briefing, he ranted about how he was not happy with recent court-martial outcomes (Not Guilty). All of the potential court-martial jurors attended. At the briefing, the Commander talked about how they had a duty to hold airmen responsible for sexual assault.  He then stated that “There is no report unless there is a sexual assault.” Therefore, ALL reported sexual assaults are true. Because of this, we filed a motion to dismiss for Unlawful Unlawful Command Influence (UCI).

The Defense Prepares for Battle

For the trial, the defense brought in a world-class team of forensic experts. Computer genius, Josiah Rolloff, used his hacking skills to recover Google searches from JT’s phone. Hours before JT accused our client, she was Googling “how to hurt yourself so you can blame in on a man.”

Vangie Barefoot, a renowned Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner, tore apart the prosecution’s sex assault report and prepared a scathing cross-examination for their nurse. Our forensic psychologist, Dr. Richart DeMier helped psychoanalyze the alleged victim and prepare her cross-examination. Deanna Lankford, our DNA expert was prepared to take out the government’s DNA expert, if necessary.

Mr. Waddington & Capt Farnsworth hiking after the case was dismissed.

Before trial, Mr. Waddington and Capt Farnsworth investigated key locations around Great Falls and went to AF OSI to examine the physical evidence.

We also wrote an MRE 412 motion exposing some of the holes in the prosecution’s case and exposing JT’s history of lying. This motion and the pre-trial preparation was key to the outcome of this case.

At 8:15 AM, on Monday, April 9, 2018, we showed up at the courtroom, ready for trial. At 9:00 AM, the prosecution asked for a delay because JT had yet to arrive. By 10 AM, JT was AWOL and dodging the prosecution’s calls.

Around 10:15 AM, the General dismissed the case.

At 11:30 AM, the JT and her sister were seen getting their nails done at a local nail salon. They were laughing and joking about how they “blew off” the prosecutors and talking trash on the Air Force.

The defense team went hiking at the Sluice Boxes State Park. Our client went to dinner with his family.

U.S. v. Navy E-7 – NAS Oceana, Virginia – tried at NAS Norfolk

Original Allegations: Sexual assault x 2 victims, Assault Consummated by Battery, Obstructing Justice, various other offenses
Max Punishment: 30+ years in prison, Dishonorable Discharge/BCD, Sex offender registration, Loss of Retirement
Result: NOT GUILTY OF ALL CHARGES
Sentence: NONE
Discharge: NONE
Location/Branch/Rank: NAS Oceana, Virginia – tried at NAS Norfolk/Navy/E-7

Summary: 

The morning of closing arguments outside of my hotel in Virginia Beach Town Center.

Our client was a mobilized Navy Reserve Chief (Chief X). He was assigned to a sexual assault task force. When he arrived at his unit, Chief X met a female Chief, (“Chief Victim”). They immediately began a sexual relationship. At the time, Chief Victim was married. However, she told our client and everyone in the unit that she was divorced. Meanwhile, she was collecting BAH. During the affair, Chief Victim was trying to become a Naval Officer. While she was committing adultery, her officer application was being processed.

Six weeks into the affair, our client dumped Chief Victim.

The breakup caused problems in the office as people spread rumors and took sides. Many of the females in the office shunned our client. Four months after he dumped her, Chief Victim accused our client of sexual assault. She claimed that he attacked her in the middle of the night as she slept.

Chief Victim then convinced her best friend, another E-7, to join in the investigation, as a second “victim.”

The second woman told NCIS that our client sexually assaulted her at a dance club.

NCIS – Biased and Incompetent

NCIS launched an investigation and spent most of their time trying to find more women to accuse our client. They did not look into the history of the alleged victim. Instead, they tried to entrap our client with a recorded phone call and texting.

Overzealous Prosecution

Working out with Onnit.com Steel Clubs after court. Swinging the heavy clubs relieve stress and help me focus during hard-fought cases.

Leading the charge was an overzealous Marine prosecutor with a flat top and a constant scowl. (Note: In 2016, Mr. Waddington did battle with this same Marine prosecutor on another case. In that case, the Judge dismissed the case for Unlawful Command Influence.)

In this case, NCIS and the prosecution spent 2 years smearing our client’s name. They interviewed dozens of women, trying to get them to accuse Chief X of crimes. Then, they targeted our client’s family. The prosecutor and his minion paralegal injected themselves into our client’s child custody case. The custody case had nothing to do with the NCIS investigation.

To hurt our client, the Marine prosecution team improperly fed Chief X’s ex-wife confidential information from the NCIS report, much of which was false or in dispute. His ex-wife was not entitled to this information. But, she used it to get the upper hand and blocked Chief X from seeing his young son for 18 months.

As our client’s life was torn apart, Chief Victim got commissioned as a Naval Officer. The Navy forgave her adultery, lying, and other misconduct.

Don’t Trust “the System”

All this time, Chief X had faith in the system. After 22 years of unblemished service, he thought the Navy would “do the right thing.” He was wrong.

After a lengthy investigation, the Navy charged our client with sexual assault, assault, obstruction of justice, and other charges. The case was referred to a Special Court Martial which lowered the max to 1 year and a BCD. At this point, they planned to convict him and take his retirement.

Then, the Navy gave our client a Coast Guard lawyer with almost no experience as a defense lawyer. This lawyer told Chief X that he had no chance of success at trial and tried to force him to plead guilty.

This Coast Guard lawyer was the prosecutor from US v. Josi, a case that Mr. Waddington successfully defended in 2017. In that case, she committed UCI when she conspired with CGIS to put a key defense witness on the Terrorist No Fly List. They did this by intentionally giving the US State Department false and misleading information. Their goal was to prevent the witness from flying to the USA to testify in our client’s defense. Here is the Judge’s ruling in that case. The witness then sued the US Government. Here is the link to that case.

Hiring a Civilian Lawyer – Firing Military Defense Counsel

Finally, in Sept 2017, Chief X hired our firm. The first thing we told him to do was to fire his Coast Guard defense lawyer.

Celebrating our victory with a beer at the Yard House in Virginia Beach, VA.

Then, the Navy assigned LT Claire Rumler and LT Justin Bass to defend Chief X along with Mr. and Mrs. Waddington. Rumler and Bass were smart, aggressive, and motivated to fight. Together, we mounted a hard-hitting defense that exposed the Government’s witch hunt. Meanwhile, the Marine prosecutor was replaced with a new Marine prosecutor.

The Destructive Power of Cross-Examination

At trial, Mr. Waddington hammered the prosecution’s witnesses on cross-examination. We exposed their lies and NCIS’s incompetency. Through cross-examination, we showed how the corrupt command targeted our client.

After battering the prosecution for two days, their case was in tatters. The defense called no witnesses, presented no evidence, and rested.

The jury deliberated for 80 minutes and acquitted our client of all charges.

Finally, Chief X can return home and raise his son.

Click here to see Court Martial Results Part 1
Click here to see Court Martial Results 2
Click here to see Court Martial Results 3
Click here to see Court Martial Results 4
Click here to see Court Martial Results 5