Benjamin A. Beliles
Benjamin Beliles is a former Air Force JAG officer with more than 13 years of experience in complex criminal prosecution, civil litigation, defense, appellate work, and internal investigations. He focuses his practice in white collar crime and complex civil litigation matters.
Ben previously served as senior trial counsel for the Special Victims Unit of the U.S. Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. As the senior prosecutor for the Air Force’s legal offices in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and the U.K., he first-chaired 46 jury trials to verdict. While serving in that role, Ben was named the Special Victims Unit Prosecutor of the Year on two occasions. Prior to that, he served as an area defense counsel to the U.S. Air Force at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, where he represented more than 450 Air Force members facing criminal and administrative proceedings throughout the U.S., South Korea, Hawaii, Guam, and Japan.
Just prior to leaving active duty, Ben served as a federal litigation attorney, defending the agency in employment actions in administrative and federal litigation. In that role, he was designated the Air Force Subject Matter Expert in sexual harassment-based removals of civilian employees. Notably, Ben successfully prosecuted Lt. Col. James Wilkerson for sexual assault at Aviano Air Base, Italy. The verdict was subsequently thrown out by the convening authority Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin. That action made the case a lightning rod for change to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Ben was integrally involved in its systemic revision to provide more robust protections for victims of sexual assault. During the fallout from the case, he served as a frequent media contributor.
For the past several years, Ben worked internationally in private defense practice, representing U.S. military members and civilian employees in all branches of the military. He litigated boards of inquiry, EEOC and U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board hearings, and courts-martial. He had been designated a special assistant U.S. attorney in two districts and recently completed a stint as a special assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Nelson County, Virginia, where he prosecuted racketeering, meth distribution, and felony assault cases. He has litigated defense and prosecution cases to verdict in more than 100 state, military, and federal jury trials.
News and Insights
- “Governor Northam Work Group Proposes Legalizing Recreational Marijuana in Virginia,” Eckert Seamans’ Regulated Substances Blog, January 12, 2021.
- “Tuition Reimbursement Lawsuits Threaten University Financial Stability,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update May 28, 2020.
- “Colleges Beware: Sweeping Changes to Title IX are on the Way,” Eckert Seamans’ Legal Update, May 13, 2020.
- “Marijuana Laws Across United States Continue Rapid Trend Toward Widespread Legalization in 2020 Elections,” Eckert Seamans’ Regulated Substances Blog, December 7, 2020.
Ben is totally devoted to his clients, his five beautiful children, and the preservation of a healthy blue crab population in the Chesapeake Bay.