A Fort Bliss chaplain has been sentenced to six months of confinement after being convicted of assaulting a civilian employee, according to several media reports.
Officials told the El Paso (Texas) Times that Chaplain (Maj.) Geoffrey Alleyne pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery, making a false official statement and conduct unbecoming an officer.
“Sometimes, as in this case, positions of authority and power can be abused,” Fort Bliss spokesman Maj. Joe Buccino said. “When that happens, the Army takes action. The Army’s response to this incident and criminal conviction show our commitment to dealing with this problem.”
The charges, which were prosecuted under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, stem from a series of encounters between Alleyne and Michelle Ten Eyck, a civilian employee, between January and October 2012.
Channel 14-KFOX reported that Alleyne, who has more than 20 years in the military, had been accused of sexual assault by Ten Eyck. Alleyne pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges.
KFOX reported that Alleyne admitted hugging and fondling the woman. Alleyne claimed he didn’t know Ten Eyck was uncomfortable with his actions.
Fort Bliss Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Karen Meeker said the crime damages the trust between chaplains and members of the military they support with religious services, pastoral care and counseling.
“This chaplain and his actions do not represent the Army values nor the values and ethics of the Chaplain Corps,” Meeker said in a statement.