Army colonel faces court-martial in alleged sexual assaults

U.S. Army Colonel Kevin Russell assumed command of Joint Task Force-Bravo during a change of command ceremony at Soto Cano Air Base, July 17, 2018. Photo by Martin Chahin/Joint Force Bravo/U.S. Department of Defense

Aug. 5 (UPI) — The U.S. Army has charged Special Forces Col. Kevin Russell, who has earned four Bronze Stars, with five counts of sexual assault.

Russell faces five counts of violating Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

The code specifically refers to “a service member of the United States Armed Forces who rapes, sexually assaults, or physically abuses or threatens to abuse another person with sexual contact, groping or unwanted sexual advances.”

Russell was arraigned in June, pleading not guilty. His court-martial begins at Fort Bragg, N.C., on Aug. 25, Army court records indicate, Task and Purpose first reported.

He is accused of “sexual assault and abusive sexual contact,” U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokeswoman Elise Van Pool said in a statement.

“As with any criminal allegation, Col. Russell is presumed innocent until proven guilty at court-martial,” Van Pool said.

Further details on the charges were not revealed, according to Stars and Stripes.

Russell commissioned into the Army in 1992 and was later assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division, the 82nd Airborne Division and the 7th Special Forces Group. He was involved in Operation Enduring Freedom, which targeted terrorism, and in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most recently he commanded the U.S. Southern Command’s Joint Task Force-Bravo, involved in Latin America in countering organized crime, humanitarian efforts and defense-institution building.

Russell’s military awards include four Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals and four Army Commendation medals.


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