Major's relationship with soldier at Yongsan brings plea, fine

By PHILLIP O'CONNOR | The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City | Published: August 30, 2013

FORT SILL, Okla. — An Army Reserve major from the Oklahoma City area pleaded guilty Thursday at Fort Sill to charges related to an improper relationship with an enlisted soldier.

The military judge, Lt. Col. Patricia Lewis, fined Maj. David W. Price $4,480, but did not sentence him to confinement.

The charges involved a consensual sexual relationship Price had with a sergeant, including while he was stationed in Yongsan, South Korea, in 2008 and 2009. Military regulations prohibit officers from having sexual relations with enlisted members.

Price, 42, of unincorporated Oklahoma County, was serving with the military police at the time of the relationship.

In a pretrial agreement, Price agreed to plead guilty to fraternization, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer.

In exchange, military prosecutors agreed to drop more than 40 cybercrime-related charges, including illegally accessing emails and possession of sexually explicit images.

The agreement also called for Price to serve no more than six months confinement. He had faced a maximum sentence of five years confinement, forfeit of all pay and allowances and dismissal from the service.

Capt. John Rosamond, the Army prosecutor, noted that Price served as a recruiter and should serve time behind bars to send a message to other soldiers.

“Maj. Price doesn't deserve to be an officer,” Rosamond said.

Price testified at the time of the affair he was separated from his wife. The couple have since reconciled, and Price's wife, a retired Oklahoma City police inspector, testified on his behalf.

Price and the enlisted soldier offered conflicting testimony over how the relationship started and ended.

Each said the other initiated the affair and both said they were the one that thought to end it.

“This is a case about two vulnerable people hooking up,” defense attorney Bill Cassara said. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

While awaiting trial, Price has served with the ROTC program at the University of Oklahoma. He previously worked in the ROTC program at Oklahoma City University. Price's trial was held at Fort Sill because he lives in the state.

Price called his actions out of character and a lapse in judgment.

“I'm embarrassed and ashamed,” Price said.