McKinney accuser warned him she might go public
February 18, 1998
Web posted at: 7:59 p.m. EST (0059 GMT)
FORT BELVOIR, Virginia (CNN) -- The first woman to accuse the Army's former top enlisted man of sexual misconduct testified on Wednesday that she came forward because she felt it was hypocritical of him to sit on a panel investigating sexual harassment.
Sgt. Maj. Brenda Hoster wrote a letter to Sgt. Maj. Gene McKinney in December 1996 warning that she would report him if he didn't step down from the panel.
Hoster, who has retired, testified earlier that he grabbed her and forced a kiss on her during a business trip in April 1996.
On cross-examination, she said she probably would not have reported McKinney if he had stepped down from the panel, which was formed to deal with a military-wide sex scandal.
McKinney, who has denied all sexual misconduct allegations made by six different women, never responded to Hoster's letter.
His defense team alleges a New York Times reporter helped Hoster draft her complaint. Judge Col. Ferdinand Clervi said that if reporter Eric Schmidt does not voluntarily testify, he will issue a subpoena. Hoster told Schmidt about McKinney's alleged sexual misconduct before she reported it to Army investigators.
McKinney's lawyers allege Hoster fabricated the charges, in part, to get media attention.
Correspondent Jonathan Karl contributed to this report.