April 7, 1997 in Nation/World

Army Drops Claim That Woman Lied

Associated Press

The Army on Sunday dropped its allegation that a female trainee lied about having sex with an instructor.

The Army said the charge against Pvt. Toni Moreland wasn’t a priority and it didn’t want to bring in an outof-town witness. The soldier’s attorney accused the Army of ducking a confrontation over its investigation of the Aberdeen sex scandal.

Moreland, 21, pleaded guilty to other minor charges Sunday at a summary court-martial, the lowest level of military court. She was sentenced to 16 days in a military prison and fined $300.

Moreland was the first of five Army privates who accused Army investigators of trying to bully them into falsely claiming they were raped by instructors at the weapons training school at the Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland.

Moreland was charged with two counts of making a false statement after she recanted a sworn statement that she had consensual sex with Staff Sgt. Marvin Kelley. She repeated Sunday that she never had sex with Kelley and signed the statement only to appease investigators. She said investigators were pressuring her to claim he raped her. Consensual sex between superiors and subordinates is prohibited.

No charges were filed based on Moreland’s original statement. Army officials have denied that investigators tried to force false accusations from interview subjects.

Kelley has been charged with other offenses, including adultery and obstruction of justice.

Moreland said she regretted not being able to face the investigators.

“I believe they’re trying to make some kind of example of things that happened here. I think they got carried away,” she told reporters.

Moreland was convicted of one count each of being absent without leave, failing to report for extra duty, disobeying an order and breaking restriction to areas of the post.

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