|Staff Sgt. Angel Sanchez|
Army Times reports -- A Missouri drill sergeant is guilty of sexually assaulting and harassing eight female soldiers, a military judge ruled Wednesday.
Army Staff Sgt. Angel M. Sanchez, 30, was accused of using his supervisory position with the 14th Military Police Brigade at Fort Leonard Wood to threaten some of the women he was tasked with training. His accusers said the incidents took place in the bathroom of the female barracks as well as in an office shared by drill sergeants.
Sanchez was found guilty of charges including four counts of sexual assault and six counts of abusive sexual contact.
At the outset of the military judicial hearing, Sanchez pleaded guilty Monday to three charges of disobeying orders by having sexual contact with three female trainees. Several additional accusations against Sanchez were dismissed after a pretrial hearing in the spring.
His accusers said the incidents took place in the bathroom of the women’s barracks as well as an office shared by drill sergeants at Fort Leonard Wood. Other allegations were brought by a medic in Afghanistan and a soldier in Fort Richardson, Alaska.
Sanchez, who is married, also served one tour in Iraq, where he earned a Bronze Star and two other combat medals before arriving at the Missouri post in August 2013. He did not take the stand.
Sanchez’s attorney Ernesto Gapasin questioned the accusers’ credibility, noting that some of the initial accusers were either facing disciplinary action of their own or forced separation from the military at the time complaints against Sanchez were raised. He suggested that three privates who accused Sanchez of forcing them to perform oral sex on him had consented to sex.
On Tuesday, an Army National Guard private testified that a brigade commander had warned her company of soldiers during training that the entire group wouldn’t graduate if any additional sexual assault complaints were made. An installation spokeswoman declined to discuss the allegation….
Read more: http://www.armytimes.com/article/20140924/NEWS06/309240058/Fort-Leonard-Wood-drill-sergeant-found-guilty-sex-assaults