Army officer facing sexual assault charges appears in court

Cumberland County News

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — An Army Special Operations Col. facing sexual assault charges was in court Tuesday at Fort Bragg.

Col. Kevin Russell pleaded not guilty to five charges of sexual assault and abusive sexual contact.

The allegations revealed today center around one night in 2015 while the victim and Col. Russell were serving together in Pakistan.

The prosecutor says after coming back from a nightclub, the victim was intoxicated and had trouble moving and talking.

He says Russell and one of his roommates put her to bed in the guest room of their rental house.

The prosecutor says the victim woke up to Russell sexually assaulting her.

The other man who helped put her to bed testified today, saying the victim came into his room soon after the incident “disoriented, confused and scared.”

The witness also said he had an adulterous affair with the victim.

The prosecutor said Russell and the victim had a consensual sexual relationship before and after that night.

He started his opening statement saying this is a case about “power, control and possession.”

Russell’s attorney says this was an “adulterous love triangle” and “inappropriate behavior”, but it was not sexual assault.

The attorney accused the victim of being a “big drinker”, lying and “going from guy to guy.”

The attorney told the jury made of eight men to “keep an open mind” and to not be “persuaded by crying.”

Court records show Russell was arraigned June 26.

The case is scheduled to last through this Friday.

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