Colorado

Apr 7, 2010 8:48 AM by Associated Press

Court martial underway for Fort Carson soldier

A Fort Carson soldier faces a court martial for an allegedly sexually assaulting the wife of a man he
had met while deployed in Iraq in 2008.

Twenty-eight-year-old Spc. Philip C. Vermeiren's court martial continues Wednesday. Defense attorneys say Vermeiren and the woman had a brief consensual sexual encounter Oct. 30 while the woman's husband stepped out to buy cigarettes.

Sexual assault carries a possible death penalty under military law, but the sentence is rarely imposed. Vermeiren is also charged with making a false official statement.

Three other soldiers with the group had passed out at the couple's house after a night of heavy drinking. The accuser testified that she also passed out and awoke with Vermeiren on top of her.

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