By Debbie Gregory.
The Army’s honor has been tarnished by a GI prostitution ring at Ford Hood, ironically led by a former advocate for sexual assault victims.
Sgt 1st Class Gregory Lynn McQueen Jr. was dishonorably discharged from the Army, and sentenced to two years in prison. McQueen initially recruited three young female soldiers into the ring. McQueen was planning to expand his “business” with a scheme to recruit GI prostitutes to service clients at swinger and stripper parties.
As part of a plea bargain, McQueen, a 21-year Army Veteran, admitted to pandering, attempted pandering, conspiracy to solicit a prostitute, failure to obey an order, dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, adultery and prostitution.
Also plagued by a similar scandal, the Air Force dismissed its sexual assault prevention officer, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, when he was accused of assaulting a woman in Virginia. Word that McQueen was running a prostitution ring broke just one week later.
Retired Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Dice said that the assault prevention program is now broken, due to a lack of trust. Dice added that soldiers felt no one in the program, or Fort Hood’s leadership, cared about their problems.
Prosecutor Capt. Casey Biggerstaff said McQueen exploited weaknesses he saw in the women and those he sought to tempt with their sexual favors.
Friends and family described a different McQueen, one who has developed a strong faith in God and has been a good son and husband.
“He’s a good man, he’s a good man,” said his father, Gregory McQueen Sr. of Dallas. “
This isn’t McQueen’s first expulsion from the Army. Two years after joining the Army Reserve, he was expelled for failing a physical fitness test, bouncing checks, and failing to show up for duty. McQueen became a car salesman, but returned to the Army seven years later. He was deployed three times. In between his first and second tour, McQueen sold cars. After his third tour, he became a top Army recruiter in Georgia, signing up between eight and 13 people per month.
McQueen’s defense cited his work as a recruiter was good for the Army, but the prosecutors saw past the innocence and into his darkness.
“Sgt. McQueen was a salesman with a simple plan,” Biggerstaff said in his closing argument, “a plan to turn cash-strapped young females into tricks.”
Following the sentencing, McQueen, dressed in fatigues, handcuffs and leg irons, stared out a glass door at a van that would take him to a lockup in Belton, where he’ll await transfer to the stockade.
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Military Connection: Army Sergeant Jailed for Running Prostitution Ring: By Debbie Gregory