Air Force Moves to Dismiss Rape Case of Colonel Found Dead

Col. Eugene Caughey speaks at a 9/11 commemoration in 2014 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. Air Force photo
Col. Eugene Caughey speaks at a 9/11 commemoration in 2014 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo. Air Force photo

The U.S. Air Force is moving to dismiss the rape case of a colonel found dead in his home, an official said.

While the legal proceeding against Col. Eugene Caughey is technically still in progress, a physical trial won't occur and the case will ultimately be dismissed, an official told Military.com on Thursday.

"The charges and specifications are being sent to the general court-martial convening authority for final disposition," a spokesman at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, said in an email. The overseeing authority, Lt. Gen. David Buck, commander of 14th Air Force, will rule on the matter, the official said.

Notification to the alleged victims is in progress, the spokesman said. "Their views have been and will continue to be heard and respected," he said.

Caughey, 46, the former vice commander of the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, who was awaiting court-martial on allegations of rape and adultery, was found dead Sunday at his home. The Colorado Springs Police Department is investigating the death as an apparent suicide.

Caughey was assigned to Air Force Space Command staff at Peterson. His court-martial was originally set to begin in August but he was granted a continuance. He was to start the proceeding Oct. 17 on charges of rape, assault, adultery and other lewd acts dating to 2013.

The 23-year veteran was formally charged Dec. 10 with rape and assault. He allegedly used "unlawful force" to hold a victim "against the wall and floor" while committing a sexual act sometime "in late 2014 or early 2015," according to his charge sheet.

The colonel also took photos of his genitals while in uniform, and committed six counts of adultery, the documents state.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

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