Fort Sill Investigation: ‘Evidence Failed To Substantiate’ Charges of Sexual Assault Ring

August 19, 2021Maggie BenZvi
fort sill sexual assault

An investigation of sexual assault allegations involving multiple instructors at Fort Sill concluded Aug. 19, 2021, with no charges filed. Photo by Marcus Fichtl.

Military prosecutors at Fort Sill concluded Thursday, Aug. 19, that they could not substantiate any of the explosive allegations of sexual assault made against instructors at the Army training base.

When The Intercept originally reported on the story in April, the alleged assaults were described as a “sex ring” and “Fort Hood 2.0,” but according to US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID), 3,000 hours of investigative work found “no probable cause to believe any of the allegations occurred.”

The original accuser, a soldier attending Advanced Individual Training at the Fires Center of Excellence, reported to her chain of command on March 27 that she had been assaulted by multiple soldiers, including members of the training cadre, on multiple occasions. During the course of the investigation, two more accusers came forward to make allegations against members of the unit. Their allegations were incorporated into the investigation and have also been dismissed as unfounded.

fort sill
Composite image by Katie McCarthy/Coffee or Die Magazine.

At a press conference held Thursday to discuss the findings, the investigative team refused to confirm the number of trainers and other Fort Sill staff who were investigated because of privacy concerns.

The CID investigative task force for the case was significant, officials said. More than 30 experienced CID agents investigated the claims, officials said, and the FBI was consulted. Overall, the team conducted more than 700 interviews with cadre members and current soldiers. Investigators said they had also interviewed a majority of the soldiers who had been assigned to the unit for the six months prior to the alleged incidents. They also reviewed more than 5,000 documents and 100,000 text messages.

There are more than 188 security cameras on Fort Sill, investigators said. The task force was able to review security footage from the date, time, and location of every allegation, but prosecutors did not say specifically whether any security footage was able to support or rule out an allegation.

The Intercept reported in April that video of an assault had been circulating at the base. At the Thursday press conference, Capt. Courtney Richardson Jones, the special victims prosecutor assigned to the case, would not confirm or deny the existence of such a tape, citing her inability to discuss specific details of evidence.

fort sill
Maj. Gen. Ken Kamper, Fires Center of Excellence and Fort Sill commanding general, at the Fires Conference in October 2020. Photo by Marie Pihulic/Fort Sill Public Affairs, courtesy of DVIDS.

Richardson Jones also emphasized that the special victims prosecutor team reviewed all articles under the Unified Code of Military Justice that might apply to the alleged incidents and determined that the evidence did not meet the requirements for any UCMJ charges.

“We’re going to focus on the outcome of this investigation and honor the privacy of all parties involved in this case,” a staff judge advocate spokesperson said. “As you know, these allegations had significant impact on many, many people. And we acknowledge and understand that this has caused tremendous stress for many people, to include those who were named in this investigation and their family members.”

Maj. Gen. Kenneth Kamper, commanding general at the Fires Center of Excellence, frequently spoke of a “culture of values” at Fort Sill during Thursday’s press conference. “Our goal is to root out harmful behaviors that negatively impact our ability to build cohesive teams where everyone has the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential,” Kamper said.

The accused, who were suspended from duty following the allegations, will return to their military careers. All three accusers have left the Army for reasons unrelated to the sexual assault allegations, said Col. Tanya Blackwell, who was the staff judge advocate for the Fires Center of Excellence over the course of the investigation.

“Despite the probable cause determination in this case, Fort Sill remains committed to taking every allegation of sexual harassment and sexual assault with the utmost seriousness,” Blackwell said.

Read Next: Female Soldier Accuses 22 Troops of Sexual Assault at Fort Sill

Maggie BenZvi
Maggie BenZvi

Maggie BenZvi is a contributing editor for Coffee or Die. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in human rights from Columbia University, and has worked for the ACLU as well as the International Rescue Committee. She has also completed a summer journalism program at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. In addition to her work at Coffee or Die, she’s a stay-at-home mom and, notably, does not drink coffee. Got a tip? Get in touch!

More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Coffee Or Die Photo
From the Team Room to Team Room Design: An Operator’s Creative Journey

BRCC partners with Team Room Design for an exclusive T-shirt release!

Coffee Or Die Photo
Get Your Viking On: The Exclusive 30 Sec Out BRCC Shirt Club Design

Thirty Seconds Out has partnered with BRCC for an exclusive shirt design invoking the God of Winter.

Grizzly Forge BRCC shirt
Limited Edition: Grizzly Forge Blades on an Awesome BRCC Shirt

Lucas O'Hara of Grizzly Forge has teamed up with BRCC for a badass, exclusive Shirt Club T-shirt design featuring his most popular knife and tiomahawk.

BRCC Limited Edition Josh Raulerson Blackbeard Skull Shirt
From Naval Service to Creative Canvas: BRCC Veteran Artist Josh Raulerson

Coffee or Die sits down with one of the graphic designers behind Black Rifle Coffee's signature look and vibe.

Medal of Honor is held up.
Biden Will Award Medal of Honor to Army Helicopter Pilot Who Rescued Soldiers in Vietnam Firefight

Biden will award the Medal of Honor to a Vietnam War Army helicopter pilot who risked his life to save a reconnaissance team from almost certain death.

dear jack mandaville
Dear Jack: Which Historic Battle Would You Want To Witness?

Ever wonder how much Jack Mandaville would f*ck sh*t up if he went back in time? The American Revolution didn't even see him coming.

west point time capsule
West Point Time Capsule Yields Centuries-Old Coins

A nearly 200-year-old West Point time capsule that at first appeared to yield little more than dust contains hidden treasure, the US Military Academy said.

  • About Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Careers
Contact Us
Contact Us
© 2024 Coffee or Die Magazine. All Rights Reserved