Army Police Officer Faces AWOL Charges
Sep. 28, 2006
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) _ The U.S. Army brought charges Wednesday against a military police officer who refused to return to Iraq after she alleged that her supervisor coerced her into a sexual relationship.
Spc. Suzanne Swift, 22, of the 54th Military Police Co. based at Fort Lewis, Wash., faces charges of being absent without leave and missing movement. The latter means she wasn't with her company when it left in January for a four-month tour of duty in Iraq, said Fort Lewis spokeswoman Sgt. Maj. Yolanda Choates.
Swift, of Eugene, could face a reprimand, a more serious non-judicial punishment, or a court-martial, Choates said.
Swift, who served in Iraq from February 2004 to February 2005, was arrested at her home in Eugene in June.
She claimed she had been harassed or abused by three non-commissioned officers _ two in Iraq and one at Fort Lewis.
The Army said it was able to substantiate one allegation, involving an officer at Fort Lewis, and took disciplinary action. But it said it was unable to substantiate two allegations against officers in Iraq, that one sexually harassed her and another forced her into a sexual relationship.
The Army said it had delayed disciplinary action to conduct a ``thorough, impartial investigation'' into her allegations of sexual harassment and said that Swift, on the advice of her lawyer, did not provide a sworn statement to investigators.
Her mother, Sara Rich of Eugene, said her daughter suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and should have a medical discharge to deal with it. Rich, who has been speaking for her daughter, did not immediately return phone calls on Tuesday. Swift's lawyer also did not return calls.
Associated Press Writer Sarah Skidmore contributed to this report