Lawyers for Sgt. Major Gene McKinney, the sergeant major of the Army who is charged with sexually abusing four women of junior rank, made their defense strategy plain Tuesday as they tried to attack the character of one of his accusers.
Petty Officer 1st Class Johnna Vinson, who has charged that Sgt. Major McKinney repeatedly tried to entice her to his hotel room during a military conference, was depicted Tuesday as someone who thought her husband was a wimp and might have been interested in other men and told coarse sex-oriented jokes to male co-workers.
But Vinson, a 35-year-old mother of two testifying in her crisp white naval uniform, stood her ground under a severe cross-examination by Charles Gittins, the chief defense attorney for McKinney who has denied all the charges.
She testified on Tuesday that she met Sgt. Major McKinney at a conference on military health benefits held at a Denver hotel in August, 1996. On the third day of the conference, she testified, he took her aside and told her that he was greatly attracted to her and that if she came to his hotel room he would show her “a passion like you’ve never experienced.”
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