Colonel gets 3 years for sexually harassing female subordinates in Kosovo
Stars and Stripes March 15, 2006
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — Army Reserve Col. Nikki S. McCarty was sentenced to three years confinement and dismissed from the Army after being found guilty of four charges related to sexual harassment at a court-martial Tuesday.
McCarty, 59, was also sentenced to a reprimand and forfeiture of all pay and allowances.
The seven-member panel, composed of generals and colonels, took about 30 minutes to reach its decision on McCarty’s sentence. He had faced a maximum of 51½ years of confinement.
McCarty was found guilty of cruelty and maltreatment to subordinates, assault, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and indecent assault.
He was convicted of sexually harassing and assaulting eight subordinate female soldiers in early 2005 at Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. McCarty served as commander of Task Force Medical Falcon at the base in early 2005. The assaults happened between February and May.
Several of the victims present shed tears after hearing McCarty’s sentence.
Prior to McCarty’s deployment to Kosovo, he harassed and assaulted a ninth female soldier in the States, according to testimony.
In an unsworn statement, McCarty, a corrections officer for Miami-Dade County, Fla., told the victims in the courtroom that he was sorry for what they had gone through.
“I made a mistake,” McCarty said. “I truly made a mistake, and I’m sorry for that.”
Co-prosecutor Capt. Javier Rivera outlined how McCarty’s actions lead to the sexual assaults. McCarty would isolate his victims, begin talking about business, switch to personal matters, grab the women and attempt to kiss them on the lips, Rivera said.
McCarty was convicted of making several comments to his female soldiers such as “You look hot in that uniform,” and “You’re built like a brick (expletive) house.”
“He (McCarty) definitely is not a person who behaves as a colonel,” Rivera told the panel. “He definitely is not a person who behaves as a commander. He is not one of you, he is not one of us.”
One of McCarty’s defense attorneys, Maj. Richard Hatfield, argued in his closing statement that McCarty’s actions did not rise to the level of criminal misconduct. Hatfield acknowledged that McCarty did not show proper judgment and that he did kiss and hug some of the victims.
“The government is trying to portray this case in a far worse light than the facts warrant,” Hatfield argued.
One of the victims testified Tuesday that after McCarty assaulted her at Camp Bondsteel, she began taking a gun to the shower, slept with a knife under her pillow, and added extra dead bolts on her door. She said McCarty’s actions had a huge impact on the unit at Camp Bondsteel.
“As far as morale and the effect on the task force, we never recovered,” the female officer testified.