Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Soldier convicted in Fort Hood prostitution trial

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After a long day in court Tuesday, a military jury found enough evidence to convict Master Sergeant Brad Grimes of solicitation of prostitution and conspiracy charges.

In the end, the case at Fort Hood came down to the testimony of a female army private who said Grimes paid her $100 to have sex with him at a hotel. She also testified Sergeant First Class Greg McQueen recruited her to be part of a prostitution ring on post. At the time, McQueen served as Fort Hood's Sexual Harassment Prevention officer.

McQueen's involvement dramatically increased interest in the case. It's the latest in a series of high-profile problems for the military involving sexual harassment and sex-related crimes.

"This case itself is not a sexual assault case. It has nothing to do with sexual assault," Grimes' lawyer Daniel Conway said. "The only reason this got lumped in with discussions about sexual assault is because of Sergeant First Class McQueen..."

The prosecution showed that a flurry of phone calls and text messages had been sent by Grimes on Feb. 16, but the actual content of the messages was never revealed.

"They've presented no evidence of an agreement between Master Sergeant Grimes and Sergeant First Class McQueen to commit a crime," Conway said. "There's literally nothing."

Grimes chose not to testify, and McQueen was not in the courtroom during the trial.

Late Tuesday evening, the six-person jury said they believed Grimes knew prostitution was going on, but did not have sex with the woman.

After the verdict was announced, the trial moved immediately into the sentencing phase. Grimes could face up to a year in prison and a bad conduct discharge from the military.

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