Army Won’t Press Charges Against Fort Sill Instructors Accused of Sexually Assaulting a Trainee
Army prosecutors have determined no charges should be filed against multiple instructors at Fort Sill, Okla., who were accused of sexually assaulting a soldier in training, base officials announced Thursday.
The female trainee on March 27 reported that she was the victim of multiple incidents of sexual assault at various times and locations while attending training at Fort Sill earlier in the year. Base officials have only said “numerous” instructors were implicated in her allegations.
Following the soldier’s report, an unknown number of personnel were suspended, including those named in the allegations, and Army Criminal Investigation Command, known as CID, led an investigation into the incidents. During the investigation, two more soldiers in training came forward with allegations of incidents of sexual assault that were incorporated into the investigation, according to the base.
All three soldiers were training at the Fires Center of Excellence, which conducts training and education for enlisted soldiers and officers working in the fields of air defense artillery and field artillery.
“In order to bring this case to me for court-martial, they needed to establish probable cause that the allegations in question occurred,” Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, commander of the base and the Fires Center of Excellence, said in a statement issued Thursday. “On those grounds, military prosecutors determined that this case should not come to me because they had no probable cause to believe the allegations occurred.”
Those implicated in the allegations were informed they will return to their Army careers, officials said. Prosecutors reviewed possible charges in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but determined there was no evidence to substantiate any of the allegations, according to base officials.
The trainees who reported the allegations are no longer in the Army, but for unrelated reasons, base officials said. They did not elaborate further.
All those involved had access to all support and services necessary through the investigative process, Kamper said.
“We conducted a full and thorough investigation into the recent sexual assault reports and dedicated significant investigative resources to ensure we uncovered the facts and evidence,” he said. “We encourage reporting and take all reports of sexual harassment or assault seriously with an absolute commitment to fully investigate every report to determine the facts and evidence in order to take appropriate actions.”
More than 30 CID agents from across the country were involved in the case and they documented 3,000 hours of investigative work, according to the base. The majority had advanced sexual assault investigation training.
“The CID team included the Army’s most experienced sexual assault investigators,” officials said in a statement.
They conducted more than 700 interviews, reviewed more than 5,000 pages of documents, performed the digital forensic analysis of more than 100,000 text messages, and viewed thousands of hours of security camera footage of times and locations of the allegations. CID consulted with other law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, according to Fort Sill.
“I am confident that this investigation was full and thorough. I have confidence in the independent military prosecutors’ determination,” Kamper said.
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