National Guard Official Accused of Exposing Woman to HIV

Law

WASHINGTON -- A woman testified in court Monday that a high-ranking official with the National Guard Bureau knowingly exposed her to the HIV virus during an alleged affair.

According to a report in the Army Times, the woman said that Army Col. Jeffrey Pounding, deputy director of the Guard's strategic plans and policy directorate, had a sexual relationship with her beginning in 2009, but did not reveal his HIV status and did not use a condom when they had sex.

Pounding, a Special Forces officer, is charged with assault, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer, according to the charge sheet. Pounding knew he was HIV positive but did not disclose his status, the newspaper reported.

An Article 32 hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for a court-martial was scheduled to continue this week at Fort McNair in Washington.

The woman, whose name was not revealed because she is an alleged victim of a sexual crime, testified that she met Pounding in Bryan, Texas, in 2009 when he was on an Army fellowship there and began a sexual relationship, the Army Times reported. The two later met and had sex in 2010 and 2011 while he was on work trips, she testified.

The hearing grew heated at times when defense attorney Jim Gordon sparred with investigating officer Lt. Col. Steven Bryant over Gordon's questioning tactics as he delved into her background and personal life, the paper reported.

She related from the witness stand how she felt when she learned from a public health official she had been exposed to the virus.

"Sick to my stomach," she said. "I didn't know what to think. I thought I was going to die."

But the woman testified she has twice been tested for HIV and does not have the virus, the newspaper reported.

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