Army fires West Point staffer facing sexual misconduct charge in Michigan
Stars and Stripes November 28, 2023
WASHINGTON — A decorated former soldier who recently became a senior civilian staffer at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., has been charged with sexual misconduct and dismissed from the post, military officials said Tuesday.
William F. Gentry, who was the deputy brigade tactical officer at the academy for about nine months, was arrested and extradited to Livingston County, Mich., where the alleged offense took place. Livingston County is located just northwest of downtown Detroit.
Gentry, 56, was arraigned last week on one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, military officials said. Neither court records nor military officials elaborated on what Gentry is accused of doing. However, the charge can be applied to various criminal acts. For example, a person can be guilty of second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Michigan if they engage in sexual contact with a person who is underage, a blood relative or a subordinate at work.
“The U.S. Military Academy takes these allegations very seriously,” said Army Col. Terrence Kelley, a West Point spokesman. “The charges are unrelated to his role at West Point, and we assisted New York State law enforcement in his arrest and extradition to Michigan.”
Kelley also said Gentry was fired from his position at the academy, which is located about 45 miles north of New York City.
The charge stems from an incident that occurred in November 2022, three months before Gentry joined the civilian staff at West Point, according to court records. If convicted on the felony charge, he could face up to 15 years in prison.
Before joining the staff at West Point, Gentry served for many years as an infantryman in the Army. The service said he joined in 1986 and reached the rank of sergeant major before leaving in early 2018. Gentry deployed to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once between 2004 and 2010 and earned several medals, including the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.
The case against Gentry was filed Nov. 1 and he was scheduled to appear before a judge on Tuesday. He will return to court on Dec. 5. Gentry posted a $50,000 bond on Monday, according to court records.
Gentry is the second official at West Point to be dismissed in the last several weeks. In October, the Army fired Col. Anthony Bianchi, the West Point garrison commander, due to a loss in confidence in his leadership.