Support our mission

In the past year, at least three female soldiers in the Grafenwöhr-based 535th Engineer Company woke up at night to find Pvt. Eric Winding sitting on their cots and touching them in a sexual way, according to court documents.

An Army court-martial in Vilseck on Monday found Winding guilty of one count of forcible sodomy, three counts of indecent assault, and three counts of unlawful entry into the women’s quarters.

Judge (Col.) James Pohl, sentenced him to three years in prison, reduction to the lowest enlisted rank, and handed him a bad-conduct discharge, said Maj. Todd Federici, chief of criminal law for the 1st Infantry Division’s staff judge advocate.

Winding, 28, who also served with the 535th Engineer Company, pleaded guilty to the assaults and the unlawful entries, Federici said, and was convicted of sodomy. Prosecutors dropped a fourth assault charge.

The first two cases took place last summer while the unit — part of the Vilseck-based 94th Engineer Battalion — was deployed to Iraq. In the first case, according to a court document, a soldier woke up on her cot in an upstairs terminal at Baghdad International Airport July 20 to find Winding lying with his head on her stomach. He acknowledged touching her breast, but she pushed it away and ordered him out of the area. She told investigators she smelled alcohol on his breath.

In the second case, also at Baghdad International Airport, another soldier woke up about 3 a.m. and discovered Winding sitting on her cot rubbing her thigh, the document said. She, too, grabbed his hand and pushed it away. Later that night, still another soldier awoke to find Winding, shirtless, lying on her back.

After the unit returned to Grafenwöhr, on Feb. 15, Winding crept into the room of another soldier while she slept, then sodomized and assaulted her, Federici said.

Winding had been honorably discharged from the Marines July 31, 1999, after serving a four-year tour. He joined the Army later that year and re-enlisted in December 2001. He had been dropped in rank from E-4 to E-2 in March 2003 as a disciplinary action for drunken driving.


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up