A Fort Hood sergeant and sexual assault and harassment prevention program head was hit with a slew of charges on Friday for setting up a female prostitution ring that exploited struggling female soldiers.
Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen was charged with 21 counts, including pandering, conspiracy, maltreatment of a subordinate, abusive sexual contact, and “adultery and conduct of a nature to bring discredit to the armed forces,” the Associated Press reports from a Fort Hood statement.
The Army told media last May that a sergeant first class was being investigated on sexual assault allegations, as well as facilitating one instance of prostitution. While the officials did not release his name, officials speaking anonymously revealed the sergeant’s identity and his post as a coordinator of the sexual assault prevention program at Ford Hood. A Defense Department official said that one of the three women involved may have participated willingly.
An Article 32 hearing, the equivalent of a civilian grand jury trial, will be held on March 20 and 21 at Fort Hood. In the meantime, McQueen is walking free but has been suspended from his duties, according to Fort Hood spokesman Christopher Haug.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, chairwoman of the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee, sponsored the bill that failed to pass last week in the Senate that would have shifted the responsibility of prosecuting soldiers charged with serious crimes outside the chain of command.
Gillibrand wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Feb. 10 asking for case information from Fort Hood and three other major U.S. military bases to increase transparency in the military’s decisions involving sexual assault cases.
Sources: Associated Press