The sexual misconduct case against the Army’s top enlisted man expanded Friday as the Army produced a fifth female accuser who leveled the most serious charge against him yet.
Sgt. Maj. of the Army Gene C. McKinney, who faces 18 criminal counts involving four enlisted women, for the first time also faces charges involving an officer. He is charged with assaulting an officer in the performance of her duty, and with a separate count of soliciting adultery.
The accuser, not yet publicly identified, was a captain serving with McKinney in Europe when the assault allegedly took place, between May and August of 1994, the Army said. McKinney was the command sergeant major for the American forces in Europe at the time.
The charges were announced during a weeklong break in a 5-week-old proceeding that is to determine whether McKinney’s case should go to a full court martial.
This second round of charges comes nearly 10 weeks after the first round, which were announced May 7. An Army spokeswoman, asked to explain the timing, said Army investigators were continuing their investigation of McKinney.
She said there was “always a possibility” that other charges could follow.
The earlier counts against McKinney include indecent assault, assault consummated by battery, maltreatment of a subordinate, soliciting adultery, adultery, communicating a threat and obstruction of justice. None carries more than a maximum punishment of five years imprisonment.
Assaulting an officer, however, is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, as well as dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and reduction to the lowest rank.