Assault Prevention NCO Investigated for Sex Crimes

Richard Sisk, Military, May 15, 2013

For the second time this month, a uniformed military official whose job was to prevent sex abuse has come under investigation for a sex crime.

Agents from the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division were looking into allegations that an Army sergeant first class at Fort Hood, Texas, sexually abused females in his unit and ran a prostitution ring on the base, Pentagon officials said Tuesday night.

Officials said that the soldier, who was not identified, had been assigned as an Equal Opportunity Adviser and Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention (SHARP) program coordinator at Fort Hood with the Army’s III Corps when the allegations surfaced.

No charges have yet been filed, but the sergeant was “immediately suspended from all duties by the chain of command once the allegations were brought to the command’s attention,” the Defense Department said in a statement.

The CID investigation was looking into allegations that the sergeant was involved in “abusive sexual contact, pandering, assault and maltreatment of subordinates” in his oversight of a unit of about 800 soldiers.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Secretary John McHugh conferred Tuesday morning on the allegations against the Fort Hood sergeant and issued statements condemning his alleged behavior.

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“This is so contrary to everything upon which the Army was built. To see this kind of activity happening in our ranks is really heart-wrenching and sickening,” McHugh told Congress.

McHugh spoke after the Defense Department issued a report estimating that as many as 26,000 servicemembers may have been sexually assaulted last year, based on survey results.

Of those, fewer than 3,400 reported the incident, and nearly 800 of them received medical treatment and counseling but declined to file formal complaints against their alleged attackers.

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