FORT HOOD — A noncommissioned officer pleaded guilty Wednesday for his role in luring young female soldiers into an on-post prostitution ring.
Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, a former III Corps sexual assault prevention officer, appeared in a military court and pleaded guilty to 15 of the 21 counts against him. Those charges included multiple counts of pandering, conspiracy to solicit prostitution and maltreatment of a subordinate.
During the proceedings, McQueen detailed his attempts to coax female officers into letting him arrange for them to have sex for money with higher-ranking soldiers at “swinger parties” and “stripper parties.”
“It was wrong,” McQueen said. “My conduct discredited every leader in the Army.”
McQueen attempted to recruit three female soldiers for his scheme, but two of them turned down the offer.
McQueen admitted he arranged for another NCO, Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, to have sex with a female private for money in a Killeen hotel in February 2013.
“I showed him a photo of (the female soldier), and told him she’d have sex for money with him,” McQueen said.
Grimes was demoted to sergeant first class and reprimanded in the case for conspiring to patronize a prostitute and solicitation to commit adultery.
McQueen also admitted to approaching at least two other male NCOs between February and April 2013 and offering similar arrangements. Both turned him down.
McQueen said he would have continued with his plan if it had not been exposed. “The only thing that stopped it was the investigation.”
While McQueen admitted to several of the allegations related to the prostitution ring, he denied charges that he forced himself on one of the women he tried to recruit.
Army prosecutors asked military judge Lt. Col. Rebecca Connally to find McQueen guilty of an additional charge of assault and battery in connection with the alleged incident.
Prosecutors claimed McQueen tried to kiss and fondle a 20-year-old private in a Fort Hood residence in February 2013.
The soldier, now a specialist, testified McQueen was trying to recruit her to have sex with men for money at parties and asked her to “act out” what she would do if approached.
She said McQueen then kissed her on the lips, cheek, inner thigh and groin without her consent.
“I said I didn’t feel comfortable,” she said. “He told me to relax.”
McQueen’s defense lawyers maintained he did not force himself on the soldier.
On cross-examination, they indicated her story changed over time, and differed from accounts of the incident she gave to Army investigators, superior officers and at a previous hearing for McQueen in 2014.
“What she has said about key aspects of this allegation has changed,” said Army defense attorney Maj. Reies Flores.
McQueen faces a maximum punishment of 40 years and six months in prison, demotion to private and a dishonorable discharge.
However, his sentence could be reduced as part of a plea bargain with the government.
Connally will hear testimony and arguments from both sides before delivering a sentence. If her sentence is above the cap stated in McQueen’s plea agreement, the sentence would be reduced to the maximum allowed by the cap.
If the sentence is below the cap, McQueen will receive the lesser sentence.
Connally is expected to rule on the assault charge and begin the sentencing phase of McQueen’s court-martial this morning.