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For this assignment, students will read the attached appellant opinion titled United States. V Shanon L. Best (click on link below). The decision was handed down by the U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Crime Appeals in May 2017. The original case involved the general court-martial of a U.S. Navy Master Chief Hospital Corpsman (E-9) for the rape of his underage step-daughter. After reading the court’s decision, students will answer one of the following questions:

  1. Identify and discuss specific tactics used by the defendant to maintain control of his victim and to ensure her continued silence regarding the ongoing sexual abuse.
  2. Identify and discuss the grooming process used by the defendant with regard to his victim in this case.
  3. Discuss the validity of the defendant’s argument that the military judge erred “when he allowed the government’s expert to testify that a thirteen-year-old does not have the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse.” Do you believe a thirteen-year-old has the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse? Justify your answer.

Formatting Instructions

  • Student responses should be, at a minimum of 2-2.5 pages (double-spaced and no larger than 12 font) in length.
  • This assignment requires a separate cover page. The cover page should contain the student’s name; course number and title; and assignment number.
  • Papers should have 1” inch margins with only the student’s name on the top of each page following the cover page. 


US v Shannon Best - US Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.pdf

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