A married sergeant—and a veteran of the war in Afghanistan—was arrested by local police for allegedly abducting and sexaully assaulting a woman in his unit.
A Fort Bragg soldier was arrested by the Fayetteville police on Friday on charges of allegedly kidnapping and sexually assaulting a fellow soldier.
Johnathan Simpson serves in the same unit as his accuser, local police said on Saturday. Both are 26 years old.
The alleged incident took place on April 25 on the 1000 block of Bragg Boulevard, which is off base, according to Fayetteville authorities. The two-way street has some stores and restaurants, as well as many empty parking lots.
Few details are available about the alleged assault, but Simpson was arrested on Saturday and is being held at the Cumberland County Jail on a $250,000 bond.
Simpson is a sergeant in the army and has served since July 2009, according to his Facebook page. His photos show that the Iowa native is an avid fisherman and served in Afghanistan.
Simpson is married but has separated from his wife, according to his Facebook status. “I am married to the most beautiful girl in the world,” his outdated “About Me” section reads. “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been before, even if I am in a third world country while working almost 15 hrs a day.”
Army officials did not return requests for comment.
This would hardly be the first instance of reported sexual assault at Fort Bragg, the most populous army base in the U.S., which serves roughly 50,000 active duty soldiers. In fact, alleged incidents of sexual assault and harassment on the base went up 4 percent between 2012 and 2013, the Fayetteville Observer reported last year. The number of reported rapes on the base were roughly equal to those in the city of Fayetteville, according to the Observer, despite a city population that is four times larger than that of the base.
The number of reported sexual assaults in the overall armed forces has increased sharply since 2012, likely due to more reporting. In 2014, 6,131 service members reported a sexual assault, compared to 3,604 reported assaults in 2012. Successful prosecutions, however, remain rare. The 2014 report found that only 317 service members were court martialed and sentenced for sexual assault that same year, according to The Military Times.
In a high-profile case this winter, a Fort Bragg soldier was charged with sexually assaulting an underage girl. The soldier was slapped with incest, rape, and statutory rape charges in the case, which allegedly involved a family member.
And other incidents involved high-ranking service members. A major at the base was convicted of rape and forcible sodomy in January 2015, recieving a 20-year prison sentence, according to the Fayetteville Observer. (He denied all the charges.)
Another high-ranking service member pleaded guilty to lesser charges of an affair in 2014 after being accused of assaulting a female colleague, according to the Observer. He denied the assault.
Two years ago, Simpson posted an image of hands cuffed behind an orange jumpsuit. “If I got arrested,” it reads, “what would you think I did?”
“Fought your neighbors across the street,” one friend suggested.
Another volunteered: “Streaking!”