Special Forces colonel facing multiple sexual assault charges at court martial

| August 6, 2020

Col Kevin Russell (US Army photo)

Colonel Kevin Russell, a US Army Special Forces officer and combat engineer, was arraigned back in June on five counts of violating Article 120 of the UCMJ (rape and sexual assault). At that time he pled not guilty.

Reports are that his court martial has been scheduled for August 25th. Details of the charges and who the victim are is not yet public information.

It looks as though Russell had a stellar career up to this point. He’s served with the 2nd Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division, and the 7th Special Forces Group as well as “numerous” deployments to OEF and OIF. His awards and decorations include four Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, and Army Commendation Medals, Master Parachutist Badge, Military Freefall Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab and Ranger Tab.

Article; Military.com

Category: Army, Crime

Comments (39)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Green Thumb says:

    Not the most flattering photo in the article.

  2. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    If he’s guilty fuck him and fuck his career, dismissal with full loss of status and benefits and a lengthy time incarcerated should be in his future if he’s guilty.

  3. 5th/77th FA says:

    As a previous victim of false accusations, I understand the difference between being “charged with” and “convicted of.” Some folks do go ahead and apply the “convicted of” along with the “charged with” before the jury makes its findings public. I will reserve judgement until that point in time.

    One would think that an 06 with this type of record would know to “keep it in his pants”, or at least a “hundred miles from the flagpole”. But as we all know…it happens. Never really understood that forcing someone to have sex thing. A studly SF Dude should be able to just abt his baby browns, give a “come hither” look and make Ms Thang go all a’swooney. Flip side is, IF he is guilty, nail his azz.

    • Stacy0311 says:

      Happened while I was working at NGB. O6 accused of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, adultery, and other associated charges.

      Went to court martial. Accuser’s story fell apart. In the rush to judgement, the investigators failed multiple times verifying basic facts of the claims. Such as times, dates and locations. Colonel was able to prove that at the times accuser claimed he was raping her, he was either across the country or out of the country all together.

      He was acquitted, but by then it was too late. His career was over. The process WAS the punishment.

      • Graybeard says:

        I’m not a JAG, nor do I play one on ewe-tubez, but that sounds like he had an actionable case for damages against more than one individual.

        • rgr769 says:

          Military members can’t effectively sue the military for a false charge and prosecution. I suppose he could sue the accuser, but she is likely judgement proof. Suing the media for defamation would be difficult. He would have to prove falsity and actual malice. So, he has no viable remedy.

          • ninja says:

            rgr769 wrote:

            “I suppose he could sue the accuser, but she is likely judgement proof.”

            In this day and ago, “she” could be a “he”.

            😉😎

      • Green Thumb says:

        Yeah.

        Sad.

        Years past I met a young female CPT who was more or less the special prosecutor for those type of cases.

        No doubt in my mind she did a great job and hammered some lowlifes. But her unchecked zeal and arrogance also made me wonder how may she got wrong to make her “case”.

    • MI Ranger says:

      Could be that he did keep it more than 100miles from the Flag Pole. Do we know if this is someone saying he was up to some stuff when he was “out and about” or was it within his unit?

    • SEAL TWO says:

      Regardless of the facts, this guy is toast. In today’s military climate of worshiping at the altar of Sexual Harassment Intervention Training (S.H.I.T.), one only needs to be stained with the accusation; and the more senior the rank, the more vulnerable.

  4. penguinman000 says:

    Anyone know what the over/under is on DA, IG, or whomever screwing up the investigation and trail is?

    • Prior Service says:

      Currently serving IG here. No IG would touch this case, it is a legal matter. If it came in as an IG complaint it would’ve immediately been referred elsewhere. Depending on complaint, probably to CID. Also little known fact but since 2018, IG will generally refer all non-criminal allegations to the command for action. The only things we retain are allegations of reprisal or restriction. (According to US code.)

  5. Jay says:

    Different stroke for different folks and different spanks for different ranks. Let’s see how it plays out….

  6. Graybeard says:

    I prefer to reserve judgement. Like 5th/77th I’ve been falsely accused and investigated as well, and even lost a job over insinuations made by others.

    The man may be innocent, or he may be guilty, but let the process work, and may it work fairly.

    • SFC D says:

      This. Guilty or innocent, he’s entitled to a fair trial. Let’s don’t have a repeat of some other military trial shit shows where justice comes second to making an example.

      • SEAL TWO says:

        “Fair trial…”? No such thing when it comes to women making accusations; even if acquitted his career is done. As Magua stated in the “Last of the Mohicans” we have become “slaves to our women.”

  7. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Here’s hoping that the process goes right because I’ve seen CID screw the pooch and mess people’s careers up!

  8. Slow Joe says:

    Oh, his career is over, regardless of if he is guilty or not.

    However, since he is a Colonel, he will probably be allowed to retire.

    When this happens to an NCO…

  9. ninja says:

    Slow Joe commented:

    “When this happens to an NCO…”

    It already happened to a NCO…a Senior NCO…a SGM of the US Army…in 1998.

    SGM Gene McKinney. Demoted to MSG, but was allowed to retire.

    And guess what he was guilty of.

    ” McKinney Demoted, Reprimanded by Army”

    https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1998-mar-17-mn-29761-story.html

    “He will be allowed to retire honorably–which he is expected to do immediately–although the demotion will slice $875 a month off his pension.”

    • Green Thumb says:

      I remember them dudes.

      Twin brothers, if I am not mistaken.

      • SFC D says:

        Yup. One left Heidelberg to be the SMA, the other took his place. I saw a young private replacing the official photos, got them mixed up and was in a major panic.

        • Green Thumb says:

          I was a young EM then.

          They kept leapfrogging each other.

        • Ret_25X says:

          I couldn’t tell them apart…they even kind of talked the same so even when you were in the room with them, they could fool you…

    • Hondo says:

      Happens to officers sometimes as well when they can’t keep their trousers zipped or otherwise screw up.

      https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/bs-xpm-1999-11-17-9911170120-story.html

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_D._Murphy

      The latter case IMO was a perfect example of “graymail” working. As I recall, Murphy got of incredibly easy because he was cleared for a ton of extremely highly classified info – and his lawyers claimed that they needed to use that info to prepare his defense and/or extenuation arguments for sentencing. The government wasn’t willing to allow that, so his lawyer successfully used that to get him off nearly scot-free.

      The USAF had the last laugh, though. Murphy – who was an O6 at the time of his court-martial – was retired at the highest grade at which he’d successfully served. Due to his repeated failure to report the fact that he’d been disbarred decades previously (Murhpy was a USAF JAG), a grade determination determined that the highest grade at which he’d served successfully was O2, or 1st Lt.

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        Ouch.

      • Green Thumb says:

        All-Points Logistics has been undertaking a “remodel” of sorts.

        Less posers, but more dirtballs.

        I recommend that he applies.

      • SEAL TWO says:

        It also happens when facing the wrath of “a woman scorned.”

        • Hondo says:

          See the first story I linked. If I recall correctly, either that or a lady getting fed-up with the way she was being treated is what led to the former MG in question retiring as an O6.

          He was actually lucky. Also if I recall correctly, the misconduct apparently began while he was an O6 – but they couldn’t document that it began during his first 3 years TIG as an O6. He thus had the required 3 years “successful service” at O6 (e.g., his first 3+ years before the misconduct began) to retire at that grade and thus couldn’t be administratively reduced below O6 on retirement.

      • rgr769 says:

        In the case of Col. Murphy, I think you have him confused with someone else. Murphy’s offenses were all related to his failure to inform the USAF of disbarment by both the Texas and Louisiana Bar Assn.’s, despite having served for many years in JAG-off command positions requiring a valid bar license. He was convicted in his court martial of multiple counts of conduct unbecoming, but none of them related to classified documents or info. He was administratively reduced to 1LT because that was the last rank he held without being in violation of regs, then retired. Imagine being an over 20 O-2; wonder what is his retired pay.

        • Hondo says:

          Um, no. Murphy is exactly the individual I’m referencing.

          Murphy was convicted at court martial on at least 4 counts (3 conduct unbecoming, one violation of reg). As you note, conviction of on those charges didn’t depend on his having access to classified information.

          However, post-conviction Murphy and his legal team asserted the need to use his record while assigned of the White House Military Office (WHMO) as part of his mitigation arguments for sentencing (e.g., to prepare a “good soldier” defense/argument supporting mitigation of sentence).

          Murphy had signed a NDA covering that period due to the extremely sensitive and in many cases highly classified nature of his duties at WHMO. The government would not release him from that NDA. Murphy thus couldn’t even discuss his duties there with his lawyers other than in general terms.

          Murphy and his legal team claimed to the court that the government’s refusal to release Murphy from his NDA made it impossible for him to present an effective “good soldier” argument for mitigation. The judge agreed, and decided that – though convicted – Murphy would not be given additional punishment by the trial court due to the government hindering his mitigation argument.

          In short: Murphy and his lawyers successfully “greymailed” the USG, almost getting him off scot-free at trial. The Wikipedia article I linked about him documents all of the above.

          Unfortunately for Murphy, as you and I both noted the USAF got the “last laugh” at his retirement grade determination board. Being retired (for cause) as a 1st Lt vice a Col following a court-martial conviction is better than being dismissed and/or doing hard time, but it’s still a helluva hit – both prestige-wise and financially.

    • Ret_25X says:

      yeah…

      the “hit” will be to potential post military earnings.

      The suspension of his clearance and the hit to his character (and I’m granting that may already be an issue…we don’t know what we don’t know) may make him virtually unemployable by those companies that would pay the best.

      Do I agree with it? Well, if guilty, he has to pay the price. But if not guilty (a court does not determine “innocence”), he probably still has to pay the price.

      Sat on a CM panel for a similar case. We found the guy not guilty on all counts as he was in AFG when the crime allegedly occurred…which is something I would have asked up front as an investigator…but whatever. Still ended his career and post military prospects. He drives a truck now. But…he was caught up in the hysteria at Fort Hood and the mere allegation was proof enough for the Army.

      Now, I didn’t know him, but he made MSG in 12 years so he was doing something right, and it seems unjust that even when not guilty, he is being punished.

      But that is just the way it is and why men must be aware that we live in a strange era.

  10. Hondo says:

    If the guy is guilty, he needs to be hammered – hard. If he innocent, he should be acquitted.

    Unfortunately, I think Stacy0311’s comment above will be prophetic for this situation as well if the guy is acquitted. I strongly suspect that even if acquitted, his career is toast. GO pre-screening (reputedly much more stringent than other promotion boards) will almost certainly ensure his file never gets considered for BG.

    My guess is at best he’ll serve a while longer in grade before retiring.