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US

Army's top enlisted man in Europe faces kidnapping, sodomy charges

October 23, 1999
Web posted at: 5:43 p.m. EDT (2143 GMT)

From National Security Producer Chris Plante

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Army's highest-ranking enlisted man in Europe has been charged with kidnapping, forcible sodomy and other crimes following accusations of sexual assault by a subordinate female soldier, Army officials told CNN Saturday.

Command Sgt. Major Riley Miller, the senior representative of all enlisted Army soldiers in Europe, has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the Army's legal process.

Miller also was charged with indecent assault, maltreatment of a subordinate and fraternization. The charges stem from an incident which allegedly took place on April 13 and 14, 1999, in Hanu, Germany.

Army officials said the charges were filed on Thursday. No other details about the incident that sparked the charges were available.

Hearing yet to be scheduled

The decision to reassign Miller was made by Gen. Montgomery Meigs, who is Miller's immediate superior and commander of all U.S. Army forces in Europe, Army officials said.

The Army says Miller, 51, is a heavily decorated 30-year veteran of the Army who served in Vietnam.

He now faces a preliminary hearing, which has yet to be scheduled.

At the hearing, the U.S. Army will determine whether Miller will face court-martial or less-serious administrative action or whether charges will be dropped altogether.

If found guilty on the charge of kidnapping alone, Miller could face a maximum of life in prison.

Charges latest in series for Army

The accusation is the latest in a series of sex related scandals to shake the Army in recent years.

In 1997, the Army's most senior enlisted man at the time, Sgt. Major of the Army Gene McKinney, was accused of sexual misconduct by six female soldiers.

McKinney eventually was convicted on one count of obstructing justice. He was fined and demoted to the rank of master sergeant. McKinney retired shortly thereafter.

In another incident, a number of noncommissioned officers who trained junior enlisted soldiers at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland were accused of a series of offenses centered on the sexual abuse of trainees there, as were noncommissioned officers at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

More recently, Army Maj. Gen. David Hale was accused by the wives of four subordinate officers of coercing them into sex while he commanded an Army base in Turkey.

Hale eventually was found guilty of seven counts of conduct unbecoming an officer and one count of lying to investigators. He was demoted to brigadier general and lost tens-of-thousands of dollars in retirement pay.



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RELATED SITES:
U.S. Army Press Release: CSM relieved, charged with sodomy
U.S. Army
Dept. of Defense - Sexual Harassment
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