ONTO A BED), BUT IT MAY BE RENDERED SO BY ACCOMPANYING WORDS AND
CIRCUMSTANCES (THREATS TO KILL THE VICTIM UNLESS SHE SUBMITTED TO
ACCUSED'S SEXUAL ADVANCES AND ACCUSED'S ATTEMPT TO FORCEFULLY REMOVE
VICTIM'S PANTS). UNITED STATES V. WILSON, 13 MJ 247 (CMA 1982).
QUESTION: WHAT IS INDECENCY?
ANSWER: THE TERM "INDECENT" SIGNIFIES THAT FORM OF IMMORALITY RELATING TO
SEXUAL IMPURITY WHICH IS NOT ONLY GROSSLY VULGAR, OBSCENE, AND
REPUGNANT TO COMMON PROPRIETY BUT TENDS TO EXCITE LUST AND DEPRAVE THE
MORALS WITH RESPECT TO SEXUAL RELATIONS. PART IV, MCM 1984, PARA 90(c).
E. Indecent Acts or Liberties with a Child (Article 134, UCMJ, para 87).
The victim of this offense can be either gender including the same gender as the accused. A
child is one under 16 years old. Two basic theories of misconduct are prescribed here: Indecent acts in
which physical contact is required and indecent liberties in which no physical contact is required, but the
act must be done within the physical presence of the child. In order to be found guilty of this offense,
there must be evidence that the accused had the intent to satisfy his own lust or sexual desires or those of
the victim, or both. United States v. Johnson, 35 CMR 587 (ABR, 1965).
An example of an indecent act would include placing one's hand between the legs of a child in order
to arouse, appeal, or gratify one's lust, passions, or sexual desires. United States v. Payne, 41 CMR 188
(CMA 1970). Compare that with an example of an indecent liberty which would include exposing one's
private parts to a child for the purpose of satisfying the accused's sexual desires. United States v.
Brown, 13 CMR 10 (CMA 1953). An indecent liberty may also consist of the communication of
indecent language as long as the communication is made in the physical presence of the child. Part IV,
MCM 1984, para 87(c) (2).
The purpose of punishing the taking of indecent liberties with children is to protect children from
those acts which have a tendency to corrupt their morals. United States v. Scott, 21 MJ 345 (CMA
1986). Moreover, the injury to the child and the consequential damage to society from the performance
of a depraved act in his presence are just as great as when there is an actual physical contact between the
performer and the child. The policy of protecting the morals of children is so strong that the Court of
Military Appeals has found the exhibition of a pornographic magazine to girls under the age of 16 to
constitute the taking of indecent liberties when it is done with the intent to gratify the accused's sexual
desires. United States v. Scott, 21 MJ 345, 349 (CMA 1986). As with the other sexual crimes
involving children, the consent of the child is no defense since a child of such tender years is incapable
of giving valid consent to such an act.
F. Indecent Acts with Another (Article 134, UCMJ, para 90). This is a lesser included offense
of indecent assault and attempted rape. It consists of three elements: