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McKinney Prosecutors Rest Case

February 24, 1998

FORT BELVOIR, Va. (AP) _ Nearly half the sexual misconduct charges against the Army’s former top enlisted man should be thrown out for lack of evidence, a defense lawyer for Sgt. Maj. Gene McKinney asked after prosecutors rested their case.

The military judge said he will rule today whether to dismiss nine of 19 charges against McKinney, who faces up to 55 1/2 years in prison if convicted on charges ranging from adultery to obstruction of justice.

McKinney, 47, has pleaded innocent. His lawyers claim all six women are lying for revenge or personal gain.

Prosecutors finished their case Monday after 10 days of testimony from 27 witnesses, including the six military women who contend McKinney propositioned, grabbed or threatened them.

The accusers told similar stories that prosecutors argued show a pattern of unsolicited come-ons, coercion and intimidation by McKinney.

Gittins asked the military judge, Col. Ferdinand Clervi, to throw out two charges that McKinney threatened Staff Sgt. Christine Fetrow and two that he solicited her for sex.

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

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.

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 argued that any touching before the sex act would be ``foreplay,″ while conceding the two did not have sex.

Prosecutor Capt. John O’Brien argued that Roy ``felt disgusted″ by McKinney’s actions. ``She did not consent to the acts that constitute the indecent assault, and she did not consent to the sex itself,″ O’Brien said.

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