Aberdeen instructor pleads guilty to sex misconduct
April 7, 1997
ABERDEEN, Maryland (CNN) -- Army Staff Sgt. Delmar Simpson pleaded guilty Monday to 16 of the charges against him, including 11 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with female trainees at the scandal-plagued Aberdeen Proving Ground.
In early-morning pre-trial proceedings, Simpson also entered not guilty pleas to charges of raping eight women at the proving ground, Army spokesmen said.
The pleas came after the government dropped 35 other counts, including four rape charges, against Simpson on Friday.
Simpson pleaded guilty to a total of 16 charges of violating army general orders. Five of those charges were unrelated to sexual misconduct. Simpson has pleaded not guilty to all rape charges.
Simpson, a drill instructor at the proving grounds ordnance center and school, described in court having what he said was consensual sex with two of the women, as the judge began a count-by-count recitation of the charges. Simpson said the sex was initiated by the two privates about whom he was asked.
Under questioning by Col. Paul Johnston, the court-martial judge, Simpson was asked specifics about one encounter with a female trainee. "She came to my office and wanted to have sex, it took place in the office on the sofa, sir. ... There was no kissing or hugging."
The judge then asked if she had removed her own clothes and if Simpson knew it was wrong. Simpson replied, "Yes, sir," to both.
Regarding another trainee, Simpson was asked if he had any concern about what he was doing. Simpson said, "I knew it was wrong, sir, it just happened."
The Army forbids sex between superiors and subordinates.
Jury selection in Simpson's case was expected to follow completion of the plea process, but had not yet begun by late Monday morning, and could be postponed for at least one day.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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