Former Giessen Army chaplain faces court-martial on assault charge
May 18, 2006
A lieutenant colonel who serves as a U.S. Army chaplain in Germany is being court-martialed next month on an assault charge that allegedly occurred while he was assigned to the Giessen military community.
Details of the case involving Lt. Col. Gerald R. Moates remain scant, but a court document released Wednesday indicates the assault charge covers multiple instances that allegedly occurred between February and September 2005.
There is a reference to the “dislocation of the collar bone,” a female victim and other aggressive acts, but the charge sheet, as the document is known, offers only a limited view of the military’s case against Moates.
Moates, reached by phone for comment on Wednesday, referred questions to his attorney. The attorney, based in Houston, Texas, could not be reached by deadline.
The chaplain’s court-martial is scheduled for June 7-9 at Wiesbaden Army Airfield. Moates is currently assigned to Hanau.
According to the charge sheet, the accusation against Moates involves two specifications of the charge. Both occurred at or near Butzbach, a bedroom community that serves soldiers assigned to U.S. Army Garrison Giessen.
The first specification cites an incident that happened on or about Aug. 24, 2005. Moates committed an assault by virtue of “grabbing and pulling her arm with a force likely to produce grievous bodily harm, to wit: a dislocation of the collar bone,” the charge sheet stated.
A few more details come out in the narrative for the second specification. Instead of one date, the charge sheet cites a time period of Feb. 12 to Sept. 8, 2005, during which time the charge says the chaplain did “unlawfully shove, choke, gag, shake and grab” the victim “with his hands.”
For privacy purposes, 1st AD attorneys redacted the victim’s name.
A Giessen official said Moates left the community about five or six months ago with little fanfare, which is unusual for military chaplains, who are often among the most popular individuals on any installation.