• July 25, 2014

Prostitution ring hearing ends

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Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 11:45 pm

FORT HOOD — The Fort Hood noncommissioned officer accused of running an on-post prostitution ring heavily damaged the credibility of the installation’s sexual assault reporting program.

That’s according to testimony on the final day of a hearing to determine whether Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen will face a court-martial on more than 21 criminal charges, including pandering, conspiracy, adultery and sexual assault.

McQueen is accused of recruiting young, low-ranking female soldiers to have sex for money with high-ranking NCOs in early 2013. At the time, McQueen also was a sexual assault prevention officer with III Corps’ Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion.

Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Dice, who replaced McQueen after the allegations came to light in May 2013, testified that the scandal had damaged the integrity of the Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention program.

“There’s no longer any trust,” Dice said. “The program is pretty much compromised.”

Among other charges, McQueen is accused of sexually assaulting one of the soldiers he attempted to recruit as a prostitute. According to testimony, the soldier had been sexually assaulted previously at another installation. McQueen, not only knew about the previous attack, but referenced it while trying to recruit her.

“As a SHARP representative he knew, somehow, that she had already been sexually assaulted,” said Maj. Elizabeth Walker, an Army prosecutor.

Dice said trust was a key component in getting soldiers to report sexual harassment and assault.

“If that trust is broken, the program is broken,” Dice said.

Dice said McQueen’s actions, coupled with public firestorms over sexual assault in the military, not only impact the sexual assault prevention and response program on Fort Hood, but also the entire Army.

“(The program) has been highly scrutinized,” she said. “Every move, every detail is being looked at.”

Pfc. Sadivia Wilson, one of the soldiers allegedly recruited, said McQueen told her he used his position in the program to hide his actions from scrutiny.

That included having an office that was “out of the way” in the building where he worked.

“They don’t know what’s really going on because he is a SHARP rep, and he’s kind of hidden away,” Wilson said.

Other witnesses Wednesday included Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, who faced a court-martial in December for allegedly having sex with one of the female soldiers McQueen recruited, and a special agent from Fort Hood Criminal Investigation Command, which recovered digital forensic evidence from McQueen’s phones and computers.

The defense presented three soldiers as witnesses. Much of their questioning revolved around the credibility of the female soldiers who testified Tuesday. Army defense attorney Maj. Reies Flores said the charges against his client were excessive.

“It seems to us that the government has overcharged this case significantly,” Flores said. “What could be three or four or five specifications is now 21.”

With the hearing concluded, it is now up to investigating officer Lt. Col James Varley to make a recommendation on whether McQueen should be tried at a court-martial.

Convening authority, Brig. Gen. Clark LeMasters will consider Varley’s recommendation and will decide if McQueen’s case will go to trial.

Varley did not announce a recommendation Wednesday.

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