Special Forces colonel's court-martial on sexual assault charges is set to begin

By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer | Published: August 24, 2020

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — A court-martial for an Army officer who faces five sexual assault charges is scheduled to begin Tuesday at Fort Bragg.

Col. Kevin M. Russell is assigned to the U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He is charged with five specifications of sexual assault and abusive sexual contact, which is in violation of Article 120 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command said.

"As with any criminal allegation, Col. Russell is presumed innocent until proven guilty at court-martial," said the command's spokesman, Col. T.J. Rainsford.

Court records show Russell was arraigned June 26 and that he has entered a plea of not guilty.

Russell's court-martial is scheduled to start in the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court at Fort Bragg.

Task&Purpose, which first reported Russell's charges, cites his Army biography that is listed on the U.S. Southern Command's' Joint Task Force-Bravo website.

Russell took command of Joint Task Force-Bravo, which is at Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, in July 2018, a previous news release with the Southern Command states.

Russell's biography states his previous assignments include the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, deputy commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces Command and chief of plans for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

A February 2019 article released through Joint Task Force-Bravo states Russell participated in an Army South Sexual Harassment/Assault Response and Prevention Program team visit and training in January 2019.

"We are all responsible for the prevention of sexual assault and harassment, and must have the personal courage to intervene, act and motivate others to take action when needed," Russell previously said, according to the article.

©2020 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)
Visit The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) at www.fayobserver.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.