Marine Lawyer Major Chantell Higgins Investigated for Allegedly Instructing Victim to Destroy Evidence

Marine Lawyer Major Chantell Higgins Investigated for Allegedly Instructing Victim to Destroy Evidence

As Save Our Heroes has reported in the past military males are working in the most hostile work environment in the country. Not only do they have to worry about deployments, getting killed in a combat zone, they also risk being court-martialed, and spending 20-30 years in Leavenworth for dumping a vengeful girlfriend or asking for a divorce from an unfaithful wife.

The reality we have seen is once a military male is accused, there is no attempt by investigators and prosecutors to find the truth. Once the accusation is levied, that is all that is needed to launch an all-out effort to get a conviction by any means necessary. Coaching accusers to lie is the norm and suppression of evidence of innocence is the norm

From Joseph L. Jordan Attorney at Law posted on 25 Mar 15…“Major Chantell Higgins, the head of the Marine Corps’ Victims’ Legal Counsel program in Japan, is now the subject of an NCIS probe. The allegations against Maj. Higgins state that she instructed her client, an alleged victim of sexual assault, to destroy evidence on her phone that could reflect poorly on her in the ongoing case against her accused attacker.

As Marine Corps Times reports, there are few public details about the sexual assault case and the new NCIS investigation against Maj. Higgins. The Marine Corps’ Victims’ Legal Counsel program was created in 2013 to help self-identified victims of sexual assault get the legal counsel and resources they need to press charges on a pro bono basis. When called for, Marine Corps attorneys serving under the program can also go to litigation on behalf of their clients.

There has yet to be a comment from Maj. Higgins or the Marine Corps’ Victims’ Legal Counsel program. Maj. Higgins is a 15-year officer and judge advocate. It is estimated that the investigation into her conduct will be completed in the coming weeks.

Friction in the Military Legal Community

Marine Corps Times cites one senior military official who believes the new NCIS investigation will only further tensions between the Marine Corps’ Victims’ Legal Counsel program and the rest of the military legal community. The friction stems from the lack of oversight placed on attorneys associated with the program, who have become known for pushing for cases that prosecutors do not recommend and making demands with little or no legal precedent.

“I think judges are uncomfortable with a free radical bouncing around the courtroom without any rules and regulations,” the anonymous military official told Marine Corps Times. “I think everybody is unsure of what they’re supposed to do.

Last year, Mr. Jordan defeated the rape and sexual assault charges in a court-martial in Okinawa where Maj. Higgins was the victim’s legal counsel for the alleged victim. Maj. Higgins did not allow Mr. Jordan to speak to her client (the alleged victim) prior to trial, citing that the client did not wish to be interviewed. At trial, Mr. Jordan notified the Military Judge that he was not allowed to speak to the alleged victim in the case. The Military Judge’s solution was to give Mr. Jordan wide discretion to ask the alleged victim a variety of probing questions in a closed Article 39a session on the record. Mr. Jordan’s questioning essentially amounted to a formal deposition and ultimately his questioning helped shape the eventual victory in this court-martial. It does not pay to obstruct a counsel’s ability to have equal access to all witnesses in a court-Martial. Justice will always be done, whether it is on a particular legal issue or on the case at large.” (See http://www.jordanucmjlaw.com/Military-Defense-Blog/2015/March/Marine-Lawyer-Investigated-for-Allegedly-Instruc.aspx )

Update: No records can be found by our staff on the outcome of the investigation against Major Higgins for allegedly instructing a victim to destroy evidence. However, Save Our Heroes has recently learned  that Major Higgins denies that she instructed the victim to destroy evidence and that there was no sexual assault victim in the first place. Obviously, something is not adding up here. If there was no sexual assault victim in the first place why was there a court martial? The answers to this question and many others remains unanswered. We will keep you posted as more details of this case come to light.

 

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