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3 Elements of Adultery under Article 134

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Adultery is a crime punishable under Article 134, UCMJ.  There are three elements that must be met to prove adultery existed.  They are:

(1) That the accused wrongfully had sexual intercourse with a certain person;
(2) That, at the time, the accused or the other person was married to someone else; and
(3) That, under the circumstances, the conduct of the accused was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

The first element is the hardest to prove.  The reason being is that the physical act of  intercourse has to be proven.  Unless there is a video, credible witnesses of the couple in the act, or some other concrete evidence, a confession by one of the two parties is normally the only way to prove adultery.  This does happen on occasion, but normally neither party will confess.

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Staff Sergeant(R) Douglas “Eck” Eckstein is a former Paralegal NCO with over eleven years of service in the Army. He has served overseas tours in Korea and Iraq. Eck served on active duty for seven years working in the personnel administration field then, after a break in service, returned to active duty in 2009 when he earned the Military Occupational Specialty, 27D (paralegal). He has worked in the Office of the Staff Judge Advocate from Division level down to unit level. He has expertise in all aspects of military law, with extensive emphasis in Administrative Law and Soldiers Rights. “I am not an attorney and any views presented are my own and are not to be interpreted as legal advice. Furthermore, my views do not necessarily represent the views of DoD or its Components.”

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    Comments

  • Stephen Ryan

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    Worth article! I just want to say thank you for sharing.

  • Stephen Ryan

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    There are two options to report adultery in the military. The first is to ring up the accused’s commander to report. You can reach out to the Family Readiness Officer for the commander’s contact information. The second way is file a petition for divorce. This is a public record document, so when you follow through with all of the processing, you will be able to officially “call out” your spouse having an affair while he or she is supposed to be serving the country.

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