UCMJ – United States Code of Military Justice


10. Punitive Articles

(a) Any person subject to this chapter who commits an act of sexual intercourse with a female not his wife, by force and without consent, is guilty of rape and shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

(b) Any person subject to this chapter who, under circumstances not amounting to rape, commits an act of sexual intercourse with a female not his wife who has not attained the age of sixteen years, is guilty of carnal knowledge and shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

(c) Penetration, however slight, is sufficient to complete either of these offenses.

4 Comments for this entry

  • Edward Vierheller

    Article 120, with its “female not his wife” and “punished by death” phrases, reads like something from the English penal code circa the 17th or 18th century and has no place American jurisprudence, even in an anachronistic legal system like the UCMJ.

  • Jan

    You need to update this information. The UCMJ has undergone at least two revisions since the information as you have it posted was correct. A woman not his wife was deleted many years ago, and the article was comepletly redone in 2007. There has also been a recent change to the law for which the UCMJ Art 120 will again need to be revised.

  • PJ DeHoog

    Rape is not only a physical violation it is the murder of the spirit. Death is used in cases like murder so why should this be different? Note, however, that the article gives the judges leeway to attach a different punishment if they see fit.
    As a female veteran I see no issue with this in any century.

  • lopez

    has the attained age of sixteen changed? and does that sentence mean that the military personnal who is single is allowed to protrade a relationship with a 16 year old or even an 17 year old?

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