In a case that has rocked the U.S. Armed Forces and opened up a can of worms at several military bases, Master Sgt. Brad Grimes, a 17-year veteran has been reprimanded and demoted as a result of his role in a prostitution ring involving female soldiers.
On Tuesday afternoon, a six-member military jury convicted Master Sgt. Brad Grimes of solicitation of a prostitute with the intent to commit adultery. Grimes, a 17-year veteran, was then reprimanded and demoted.
Grimes, who is married, was acquitted of the charges of patronizing and committing adultery with a prostitute. Defense attorney, Daniel Conway told the jury panel that Grimes was "tempted," but no money exchanged hands and no sex took place.
The case first came to light in May, when an investigation revealed a Ft. Hood sexual-assault prevention staff member, Sgt. 1st Class Gregory McQueen, was accused of abusive sexual conduct and pandering. There have been no charges filed against him.
Grimes and another soldier were accused of solicitation and patronizing a prostitution ring. Grimes refused a prosecution deal if he would testify against the other soldier accused in the case.
The court-martial of Master Sgt. Grimes started Monday, and several female soldiers testified they were recruited for the prostitution ring set up and run by McQueen. Prosecutors said the prostitution ring preyed on cash-strapped female soldiers with promises of easy money.
On Tuesday, as the trial continued, another female soldier outlined how she was recruited, saying she met McQueen after going to him to discuss her financial problems. She said McQueen talked her into joining his prostitution ring on post, and then set her up with a nighttime meeting with Grimes.
Grimes denied the allegations, but did testify that he did receive the female soldier's information from McQueen. "They presented no evidence of an agreement between Master Sgt. Grimes and Sgt. 1st Class McQueen,” Grimes’ attorney, said. “There's literally nothing."
Grimes said he is ready to move on, now that the case is over. Officials confirmed that although McQueen has been removed from his position with the sexual harassment prevention unit, he is still on active duty, and the female soldier who testified on Tuesday has been given immunity from prosecution.