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Prosecution Rests In Army Sex Case

Prosecutors rested their sexual misconduct case against the Army's former top enlisted man Monday. The defense, meanwhile, sought to have about half the charges against Sgt. Maj. Gene McKinney thrown out.

The military judge will rule Tuesday whether to dismiss nine of 19 charges against McKinney, who was removed as sergeant major of the Army last year after six women claimed McKinney propositioned, grabbed or threatened them.

Prosecutors presented 27 witnesses, including the six accusers, over 10 days.

The military women, who do not know one another, told similar stories that prosecutors say show a pattern of unsolicited come-ons, coercion and intimidation by McKinney. They all testified at an eight-week preliminary hearing last summer, alleging misconduct between 1994 and 1997.

McKinney's lawyers claim all six women are lying for revenge or personal gain.

Prosecutors began their case with McKinney's chief accuser, an Army enlisted woman who accounts for 10 of the charges against him.

Staff Sgt. Christine Fetrow testified McKinney harassed her for sex for more than two years and once invited her to meet him while his wife sat vigil at the bedside of their dying son.

McKinney's lawyer asked the military judge to throw out two charges that McKinney threatened Fetrow and that he solicited her for sex.

McKinney did not ask her for sex in so many words, nor specifically menace her, defense lawyer Charles Gittins said.

Gittins also said prosecutors failed to prove that McKinney assaulted another woman, Sgt. Christine Roy, who testified that McKinney grabbed her breast and kissed her before forcing her to have sex.

Gittins asked the judge, Col. Ferdinand Clervi, to dismiss the assault charge, arguing that any touching before the sex act would be "foreplay."

McKinney faces up to 55-1/2 years in prison if convicted of 19 counts that range from adultery to obstruction of justice.

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