• December 28, 2014

Fort Hood couple faces prison time

Army brings fraternization charge against married first lieutenant, sergeant first class

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Posted: Friday, May 24, 2013 4:30 am

FORT HOOD — First Lt. Karneisha Rossom faces disciplinary action and possible prison time from the Army for fraternizing with the man she married.

The lieutenant from Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion, 4th Sustainment Brigade, 13th Sustainment Command, was for a time in the same unit as Sgt. 1st Class Luis Rivera Jr., the father of her child and now her husband.

Both are facing prison time if convicted of charges related to fraternization. Rossom faces at least two years if her charges are referred to a court-martial. Rivera could face a dishonorable discharge and one year in prison.

Lawyers representing the Army and Rossom met Thursday in an investigative hearing similar to a grand jury proceeding known as an Article 32.

A major will recommend to the Judge Advocate General’s office whether enough evidence exists to proceed with criminal charges against Rossom.

“When we go after things like this instead of going after the real problems, it’s a problem, it’s absurd,” said Rossom’s civilian counsel, retired Col. John Galligan.

In April 2012, Rossom had a conversation with her commanding officer, Capt. Amanda Dodd, in which the captain asked about the noticeably pregnant Rossom in small talk. Rossom then revealed Rivera was her husband and the father of the child.

Dodd said her response surprised her.

“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, I can’t believe she just told me this,’” Dodd said during sworn testimony. “She could lose her job. I can’t believe she would tell her company commander this.”

With about one month at her new assignment, Dodd contacted her superiors. Months later she learned Rossom had been charged.

Dodd claimed their relationship contributed to an atmosphere of distrust in the company. Women were afraid to report instances of sexual assault and harassment.

However, when pressed, Dodd could not name any time a soldier in her command referenced Rossom’s relationship in any manner, negative or otherwise. She also testified that Rossom’s work performance was in the “top quadrant.”

Army regulations governing relationships between officers and enlisted soldiers allow for an exception for a married couple. However, getting married does not preclude charges being filed if evidence exists of fraternization prior to the marriage.

The regulation urges the minimum amount of appropriate action in those cases.

Testimony from a midwife at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center showed that Rossom became pregnant about two months prior to her Dec. 30, 2011, marriage.

“There’s a rule, and she broke it,” said Capt. Carl Moore, who is prosecuting the case.

Galligan said the charges resembled a “witch hunt.”

“(The Army) has aggressively sought to create a crime where one does not exist,” he said. “The simple fact that two people are married or do marry is not a crime.”

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14 comments:

  • magnolia7 posted at 11:34 am on Sat, Jun 8, 2013.

    magnolia7 Posts: 1

    I have to say that this story really has me conflicted. There are so many factors involved. To me and this is just my opinion, If both parties were single and not married at the time they were interacting with each other, I cannot understand why it has to be taken to this level. With that being said, I think others do not understand that there are consequences for the commanders if they are put in a position. That is their career if something is not reported. What does intrigue me is the severity of the punishment of this case. It does not fit the crime,. A few years ago, a female Major that worked on Fort Hood had sexual relations with a married younger officer and faked a pregnancy and tried to extort money for a fake abortion. Both officers were reprimanded and it didn't even come close to the punishment this couple is receiving,.The female Major that faked the pregnancy and extorted money is the individual that should of gotten the court martial and the prison time. From what I hear she got a letter of reprimand and was sent back to her civilian job at Three Corps. Does the Army pick and choose who they are going to make an example of?

     
  • KtownBeliever posted at 9:22 am on Wed, Jun 5, 2013.

    KtownBeliever Posts: 3

    I hope they are prosecuted to the full extent of the law for comprising the esprit de corps of their unit. I hated stuff like that when I was in the Army, and I hate stuff like that in the civilian world.

     
  • Bubba posted at 12:34 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 769

    P.S. The Commander's lack of response has little to do with pride and more with the direction of the chain of command and prosecuting counsel to not discuss this case anywhere with anyone, and certainly not in a public forum. That is why her husband steps in here-and he takes a great risk in doing so without the permission of the prosecutor.

     
  • Bubba posted at 12:18 pm on Thu, May 30, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 769

    I admire your sand. However, I am far from ridiculous-I am a retired Army NCO with 24 years of service, including a deployment to Iraq. I led troops for 22 of these years, and have been on staff. I have served worldwide with both sexes and all backgrounds. I have also been the Legal NCO, among other things, and have successfully met the highest possible standards of performance and professional integrity available to the NCO Corps as a Basic Training Drill Sergeant from 1990-1992, probably while everyone involved in this case were in grade school. So spare me your sanctimonious finger wagging. My assessment is that the commander knew nothing about this, by her own admission, and then has the audacity to claim that "morale was damaged". How is this possible, when the comnmand was unaware that the relationship existed? More importantly, it was the commander's duty to know about this, and, by her own admission, did not. Just how then, were the elements of the charge discovered, and how will the commander prove them? Good luck with that. Simply put, it seems to me that both sides have their faults and the maximum effective range of an excuse is zero meters-and the commander has exposed her conduct to scrutiny by making a charge she knew nothing about until revealed by the accused. A review of the UCMJ calls this "dereliction" when those is a position of leadership don't know things they are, by their duty, supposed to know. In the old school Army I was raised up in, this kind of leadership failure was not tolerated. My, how the Army has changed. Have a nice day.

     
  • wvmtnman posted at 1:22 pm on Wed, May 29, 2013.

    wvmtnman Posts: 2

    Really??? Not sure what Army some of you folks have been around but when you violate the UCMJ their are consequences. Bottom line these two engage in a sexual relationship when one was the units' 1SG and the other was the S1, then they decided after the fact (when she was prego) to get married. That was a violation of the UCMJ. When two senior leaders in a unit don't follow the rules why should the Soldiers? First its fraternization, then a little spice, maybe not hold everyone to the same standards etc... where do you draw the line? These are the basics that are missing in today's Soldiers that result in all of the discipline problems you face in the military today. SFC Rivera and LT Rossom have been dupped by their lawyer to spend huge amounts of money for a no win case, hopefully they wont go to jail just get discharged.

     
  • wvmtnman posted at 1:03 pm on Wed, May 29, 2013.

    wvmtnman Posts: 2

    Research for what? How does that apply to the fact that a 1SG and LT fraternized before they got married?

     
  • Debra LeCompte posted at 1:17 am on Tue, May 28, 2013.

    Debra LeCompte Posts: 2

    This is a basic case of career climbers giving a dog and pony show.

     
  • Debra LeCompte posted at 1:16 am on Tue, May 28, 2013.

    Debra LeCompte Posts: 2

    To me there are two Soldiers here who should be disciplined... Capt. Dodd, and Maj Moore. BTW, in research for an article I wrote about this situation, I found where charges against a sexual assault crime were dismissed because the charges were not filed within 120 days of the first report of the crime... So.... how is this being brought up now. They were married on Dec 30 of 2011. I must say, the Army knows how to take the "uniform" and the "justice" part out of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

     
  • Blessed posted at 5:39 pm on Mon, May 27, 2013.

    Blessed Posts: 1

    Unbelievable... should of had a guy like that prosecuting Hasan ... maybe then would we not be waiting almost 4 years later for something to happen ...smh ...Unbelievable!

     
  • Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er posted at 8:34 am on Sat, May 25, 2013.

    Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er Posts: 256

    "There’s a rule, and she broke it,” said Capt. Carl Moore, who is prosecuting the case." Moore...you sir are a moron. You should be ashame of yourself.

    I agree, this is nothing more than a witch hunt.
    Moore's attempt at getting noticed at someone else's expense. For shame on you!!!

    We wouldn't have much of a military if everyone that was guilty of fraternization or adultery had to step forward.

    Karma has a way of rearing it's ugly head...

     
  • Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er posted at 8:22 am on Sat, May 25, 2013.

    Proud Mother of an Army Avi8er Posts: 256

    PLEASE...this is 2013. Go after the Adulterers.
    This couple hasn't harmed or killed anyone. Unlike Hasan, who is a terrorist. He committed an act of terror in murdering innocent AMERICAN men, women and an unborn child.
    Have we forgotten what is really important to prosecute.
    This is making a joke of the Army. That they have the time and not to mention the tax payers money to pursue this.
    The Army's energy and resources should be used for the trial of Hasan. He has been sitting around at tax payers expense and collecting a pay check in the process. No wonder this country is in the mess it is in.
    What a mockery of the Army and the judicial system...

     
  • Pretttygirl23 posted at 1:04 am on Sat, May 25, 2013.

    Pretttygirl23 Posts: 1

    This is ludicrous, how much more pain will the Army inflict. Considering the fact the husband in this case is related to one of the victims killed by MAJ Hasan....

     
  • Sherlynn01 posted at 6:09 pm on Fri, May 24, 2013.

    Sherlynn01 Posts: 1

    Is this for real? How can the US Army file charges on someone for "fraternization" who are now legally married and have a child together. Maybe they should do something about the soldiers that are screwing around on their spouses, or the ones that are messing with minors, and lets not forget the ones that are out there drinking and driving. There are so many more issues that should be addressed than 2 people having a harmless fling and then getting married after getting pregnant. This isn't the 60's anymore people, women do get pregnant now before marriage.... Some never get married after getting pregnant.

    Oh here's something they should worry about: PROMOTING A MASS MURDERER!!

     
  • Bubba posted at 8:41 am on Fri, May 24, 2013.

    Bubba Posts: 769

    Really? Don't we have any maintenance to do or Soldiers to train? Aren't there any REAL problems that have to be addressed today? Why can't the company commander back up her allegations? Why is that? That's because the company commander was completely surprised by the fact that an officer under her command was both pregnant and married, and she KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT. As the commander knew nothing about it, nor had the matter been reported to her as a situation adversely affecting good order and discipline, how was this "fraternization"? Issue a memo of reprimand for local filing to the accused for failing to notify their chain of command of their situation, which was apparently a complete secret, and issue the same to CPT Dodd for dereliction while in command, for being completely clueless to this matter.

     

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