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Army drill sergeant charged with raping female soldiers

Female soldiers say a drill sergeant at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri forced them to perform oral sex.
By Frances Burns   |   May 29, 2014 at 12:48 PM
| License Photo
WASHINGTON, May 29 (UPI) -- A U.S. Army drill sergeant raped more than 10 women, using his position to threaten some of his alleged victims, military officials say.

The Washington Post reported, based on information from officials and court documents, that at least one of the sexual assaults occurred while Staff Sgt. Angel M. Hernandez was deployed to Afghanistan in 2011. Others occurred at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri.

In one case, a woman said Hernandez put her "in fear that she would be kicked out of the U.S. Army if she did not engage in sexual acts," prosecutors said in charging documents. She said she performed oral sex in Hernandez's office.

Another woman said she was dragged into a women's bathroom for oral sex.

Hernandez appeared at a pre-trial hearing Wednesday. Ernesto Gapasin, Hernandez's lawyer, told the Post in a telephone interview that some of the alleged victims testified.

"In my opinion, there are a lot of issues with the credibility of the witnesses and the government's case against my client," he said.

Hernandez has served in Iraq as well as Afghanistan, and was awarded a Bronze Star. Tiffany Wood, a spokeswoman for the Army at Fort Leonard Wood, said he has been transferred to an office job while the criminal charges are pending.

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