Army's top enlisted man charged with sex misconductMay 7, 1997
Web posted at: 4:45 p.m. EDT (2045 GMT)
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From Military Affairs Correspondent Jamie McIntyre
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- After a three-month investigation, the Army on Wednesday filed charges of sexual misconduct against its highest-ranking enlisted man, Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney.
McKinney is to remain in his post as senior adviser on enlisted affairs, but has been suspended with pay and reassigned to administrative duties until the case is concluded.
The charges include adultery, indecent assault, making threats and maltreatment of soldiers. The Army said the charges involve four women in incidents that occurred between October 1994 and March 1997.
During a brief appearance Wednesday before reporters, McKinney denied all of the charges.
"I have done no wrong," McKinney said. "I am still a soldier and I believe in human rights. The American people should know I have not done any of these things my accusers say."
The investigation of McKinney began in February of this year. The case is the first involving alleged sexual harassment in the Army's top ranks.
The alleged offenses involved three female enlisted soldiers and one female enlisted sailor. One of his accusers is retired Sgt. Maj. Brenda Hoster, who in a February 6 interview with CNN said McKinney -- her boss at the time -- accosted her in a hotel room while on a business trip in Hawaii. (330K/28 sec. AIFF or WAV sound)
Hoster said she came forward when she learned McKinney had been assigned to an Army panel investigating sexual misconduct.
After McKinney was suspended, there were reports that other women had alleged that McKinney had acted inappropriately with them.
Colonel to review charges
An Army colonel has been appointed to review the charges against McKinney and determine if there's enough evidence to proceed to court-martial.
The charges against McKinney include one count of adultery, two counts each of assault, communicating a threat and obstruction of justice, three counts of solicitation of adultery, and four counts each of indecent assault and maltreatment of soldiers.
The charges come one day after Staff Sgt. Delmar Simpson was given a 25-year prison sentence at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. Simpson was convicted of 18 counts of rape and 29 other offenses. His was the most notorious case yet to come out of the Army's investigations of sexual misconduct at its posts worldwide.
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