April 8, 1997 in Nation/World

Drill Sergeant Admits Consensual Sex With 11 But Instructor Denies Rapes, Paints Steamy Picture Of Base

Baltimore Sun
 

Staff Sgt. Delmar G. Simpson on Monday became the first Aberdeen Proving Ground drill instructor to publicly admit having sex with female students, pleading guilty to 16 counts of violating Army rules that prohibit relationships between soldiers of different rank.

Simpson, 32, denied raping any of the women, but his testimony portrayed Aberdeen’s Ordnance Center and School as more of a hormonerich college dormitory than an elite Army training post.

In often-lurid detail, he recounted having sex with recruits on his office sofa, in his on-post quarters and at an Andrews Air Force Base hotel. He also admitted pursuing five other female soldiers by inviting them to Baltimore hotels, hugging them in his office, and asking them to report in workout clothes without wearing underwear.

Describing one incident, he told Col. Paul Johnston, the military judge: “She came into my office, said what she wanted to do and everything, and we had small talk for five or 10 minutes. Then we had sexual intercourse.”

Simpson, a 13-year Army veteran, could receive a maximum jail sentence of 32 years for the crimes he admitted to Monday - crimes that helped trigger a militarywide investigation of sexual misconduct. He will stand trial later this week on 78 remaining counts, including 21 rape charges that could put him behind bars for life.

He pleaded not guilty to the rape charges Monday.

This morning, Johnston, Army prosecutors and Simpson’s lawyers will begin selecting what will likely be a 10-member military jury for his court-martial. At Simpson’s request, the panel will be informed that he admitted to having consensual sex with 11 female trainees at Aberdeen - seven were in classes he taught.

The Army has charged Simpson with raping five of those trainees, setting the stage for a courtroom debate over whether he used rank, force or threat to coerce the recruits into having sex.

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