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Article 134, UCMJ.   Adultery

Elements.

(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 Manual for Courts-Martial explains that, “the adulterous conduct must either be directly prejudicial to good order and discipline or service discrediting.”  Military prosecutors typically charge adultery as an add-on charge to some other offense such as rape or sexual assault.  Adultery is not normally brought to a court-martial if that is the only misconduct alleged. Some experts view adultery as an outdated offense.

For more information on this offense including the maximum punishment, potential defenses, and a discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the prosecution’s case consult with an experienced military lawyer.

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