Fort Polk battalion commander fired, faces sexual misconduct charge
Stars and Stripes May 19, 2023
AUSTIN, Texas – A former battalion commander at Fort Polk will face a court-martial next month for abusive sexual contact and mistreating a subordinate, the Army post in Louisiana said Friday.
Lt. Col. Jon-Paul Depreo, 42, was fired as commander of the 46th Engineer Battalion in January 2023 for a “loss of trust and confidence in his judgment and ability to command,” said Shelby Waryas, Fort Polk spokeswoman.
Following a criminal investigation, Depreo on May 4 was referred to a military trial for one count of abusive sexual contact, one count of maltreatment of a subordinate, and two counts of conduct unbecoming of an officer for his alleged actions, Waryas said. She did not provide further information.
An arraignment and trial are scheduled for June 26 and Depreo will plead guilty to some or all the charges, according to the Army’s online court docket. No judge or attorney names were listed on the docket.
Depreo took command of the engineer battalion June 17, 2021, according to the unit.
His time in command overlapped almost a month with the unit’s previous top enlisted soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Compton, who was fired later in June 2021 amid his own criminal investigation. He is now awaiting a court-martial for charges of distributing child pornography, adultery and sharing explicit photographs of himself while in uniform.
The cases of Depreo and Compton are not related, Waryas said.
Compton, 45, allegedly committed his crimes between August 2020 and June 2021, according to court documents. Originally scheduled for a jury trial on May 30 with a plea of not guilty, the online court docket now shows Compton will plead guilty to some or all the charges on June 1.