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Military Prostitution Ring Run By Sexual Assault Prevention Officer

Military Prostitution Ring Run By Sexual Assault Prevention Officer

Several young female privates from Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, testified in court last week that they were pressured to prostitute themselves to superiors.

That’s bad enough, but even worse is the shocking discovery that the senior soldier who pressed them was the officer whose job it was to prevent sexual assaults in his unit.

These revelations came out in the military trial of Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, who on December 3 was found guilty by a Fort Hood jury of conspiring to patronize a prostitute and solicit adultery.

According to Grimes’ attorney Daniel Conway,Grimes met a young private at a La Quinta Inn for a “hook up,” but ultimately decided not to have sex with her.

The young private disagreed with this story and testified that she did have sex with Grimes and that he paid her $100.

Well, surprise, surprise, the jury chose to believe Grimes and not the young woman. The 17-year Army veteran, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, was acquitted of adultery and patronizing a prostitute, but was ordered reprimanded and reduced in rank just one pay grade, from E-8 to E-7.

In other words, he received barely any punishment at all. His sentence could have been much harsher: a year of confinement, reduction to private and a bad conduct discharge, but somehow he got out of all that.

No Charges Filed Against the Soldier Running the Prostitution Ring

Even more egregious, absolutely no charges have been filed against the alleged leader of the ring, Sgt. First Class Gregory McQueen, who continues to serve on active duty, although he has been stripped of his responsibilities as a sex-assault prevention officer on the Texas base.

Apparently there will be no other punishment, in spite of the fact that a second private has accused McQueen of abusive sexual contact during an “interview” to be part of the ring, according to investigative documents obtained by the Austin American-Statesman.

And guess what? One reason McQueen hasn’t been arrested is because Grimes wouldn’t testify against him what the New Republic called “the buddy-buddy refusal to report on a predatory peer,” part of “the military’s corrosive gender culture.”

Congress Must Pass the Military Justice Improvement Act

This is exactly why Congress must pass the Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA).

Rape in the military is at a horrific level, and while the military has been arguing that it can clean up its act, the fact is that in 2012 alone, there were an outrageous 26,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. armed forces, crimes ranging from sexual harassment to rape. Yet only about 3,500 of these crimes were reported.

When asked why, fifty percent of survivors of sexual assault who did not report said that they didn’t believe that anything would be done with their case.

The military needs to do better than that. It’s clear that the prosecution of cases like this need to be removed from the purview of military commanders.

MJIA would do just that, moving the decision of whether to prosecute sexual assault cases out of the chain-of-command and giving it to independent, objective, trained military prosecutors.

Senate Republicans Block MJIA Vote

MJIA would work by amending the National Defense Appropriations Act (NDAA). However, Senate Republicans blocked the bill from coming to a vote on the floor on November 22, before heading out for a two-week recess.

As Paul Rieckhoff, writing in The Huffington Post, explains:

Two things may happen now to this bill. Senate leaders can come back from their Thanksgiving break and come to an agreement to allow the NDAA to move forward. This could include a vote on the Military Justice Improvement Act. If the NDAA continues to stall or Senators don’t allow a vote on the MJIA, bill sponsor Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will ask for a separate vote on MJIA. We’ll have to stay tuned until after Senators return from an extensive Thanksgiving break to find out what will happen on the Senate floor.

For the sake of those young women in Texas, and all the thousands of victims of sexual assault in the military, the Senate must pass Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Military Justice Improvement Act.

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

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96 comments

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8:50AM PST on Dec 23, 2013

this is disgusting! the military needs to clean up its' act!!!

10:55AM PST on Dec 17, 2013

thank you

4:33AM PST on Dec 17, 2013

Very strange. Thanks for sharing.

1:14AM PST on Dec 17, 2013

Such a bizarre institution the Military.

7:46PM PST on Dec 15, 2013

If I were a woman in the military and got raped, the solution would be simple: castration by M1 carbine. A tumbling bullet that can blow holes the size of softballs into oak trees should get the message across nicely.

6:06AM PST on Dec 15, 2013

Thank you Judy, for Sharing this!

11:53AM PST on Dec 14, 2013

Disgusting.

3:26AM PST on Dec 14, 2013

thank you for sharing this

2:44AM PST on Dec 14, 2013

Hypocrites!

9:58PM PST on Dec 13, 2013

Another case of Congress, the Senate and the military treating women like dirt. Ladies, they have no respect for us and do NOT deserve our votes the next time they run for office. Remember that!
It’s sad that many men are also victims of sexual abuse and assault. What is wrong with our military? Are we being “protected” by a bunch of perverts? I know not everyone in the military is a rapist, but those who are give ALL military a black eye. When I see the generals and admirals sitting before the House with all their medals—knowing what’s going on—I wonder if they’d encourage their own daughters or grand-daughters to join the military.
If sexual assault is proven, the rapists should be given dishonorable discharges and put on the Sexual Offender list for the rest of their lives. When they see fellow officers getting a slap on the wrist, they know they can get away with anything.

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