On Tuesday, three soldiers testified that a non-commissioned sexual-assault prevention officer at Fort Hood recruited them and other cash-strapped female soldiers to join a prostitution ring.
The first to testify was a female private at the Army base in central Texas who said she was granted immunity in exchange for her testimony “Basically, it was having sex with higher-ranking officers for money.” She was 20 years old at the time of the alleged misconduct. She stated that she told Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen that she was having financial problems ever since her husband left her and their son. Allegedly, McQueen proposed for her to get involved in prostitution, had intercourse with her, and took photos to show his potential clients.
Another female private officer testified that McQueen arranged for her to have sex with Grimes for $100. Another female soldier testified that McQueen sexually assaulted her and also attempted to recruit her to join the prostitution ring, but she declined.
The identities of all three soldiers have not been released.
Anu Bhagwati, executive director of Service Women’s Action Network and a former captain with the Marine Corps, told the Associated Press “Prostitution rings are not uncommon within the military and the allegations against McQueen were no surprise. Institutionally, a lot of inappropriate behavior is condoned. Women are so few within the military still that I think predators look at women as fresh meat and the military as an institution where they can get away with criminal activity.”
Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen is facing more than 21 criminal charges filed in March that include pandering, adultery and sexual assault. Another soldier at the Army base in central Texas, Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, has already been demoted and reprimanded in the case for conspiring to patronize a prostitute and solicitation to commit adultery. Military prosecutors were scheduled on Wednesday to resume presenting witnesses at McQueen’s Article 32 hearing, which in the military system is similar to a grand jury proceeding.