Jul 26, 2013 1:20 AM by Eric Ross
As many as 7 Fort Carson soldiers are now at the center of a sexual misconduct investigation involving underage girls. It's believed the soldiers met the teens through an online social dating web site.
News 5 has confirmed the U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Unit along with the Colorado Springs Police Department are conducting separate investigations into this matter.
In a statement released earlier this week, Fort Carson would only say they are investigating "sexual misconduct" among their staff.
"When they use the word ‘misconduct,' they (Fort Carson) didn't use the word ‘rape' so it could be anything from inappropriate touching to sexual intercourse," Colorado Springs attorney Edward Farry said.
While News 5 has been able to confirm the alleged victims are minors, it's still unclear how many of them might be involved in this case.
"If you engage in sex with somebody who is under the age of 16, that's an offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice," Farry said.
Erica Laue is a former victim advocate who served on Fort Carson and now spends her time helping domestic and sexual assault victims at TESSA. While she can't speak to every sexual misconduct care that's happened on post, she says a handful of the alleged crimes involve young soldiers who may not be familiar with the laws.
"I think the one thing to consider with a military environment is that the vast majority of the members in the military are young," she said. "They are fresh out of high school and may not be thinking of themselves as adults."
Still, the allegations are being taken seriously and Fort Carson assures the public they will conduct a thorough investigation.
A spokesperson for Fort Carson told News 5 over the phone Thursday afternoon that any new details surrounding this case will be sent out in a press release. However, she did not know if and when new details would be made available to the media and public.
Stay with News 5 and KOAA.com for continuing coverage on this story.