Fort Bliss Soldier Gets 18 Years in Sexual Assault of Asia Graham, 2 Other Women

Pfc. Christian Alvarado.
Pfc. Christian Alvarado. (Courtesy of El Paso Police Department)

A Fort Bliss, Texas, soldier on Friday was sentenced to more than 18 years in prison and slapped with a dishonorable discharge after being found guilty of sexually assaulting multiple women, one of whom later died from a drug overdose.

Pfc. Christian Alvarado was convicted of raping Pfc. Asia Graham on Dec. 30, 2019, while she was unconscious. One year later, on New Year's Eve, she was found dead in a barracks room. Investigators say the cause of death was an "accidental mixed drug" consisting of fentanyl and multiple synthetic cannabinoids, according to a statement from Fort Bliss.

Alvarado was also convicted of two other attacks: a rape in May 2020 against a victim who was too intoxicated to consent and an assault in August that included penetrating a victim with his fingers and choking them, according to his charge sheet. It is unclear whether those attacks were on different women; the names were redacted from court records.

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Five women reported they had been assaulted by Alvarado, according to reporting from El Paso radio station KTEP. One woman did not participate in the court-martial, and charges related to her claims were dismissed. Witnesses included Alvarado's ex-girlfriend, who testified that he tackled her during an argument and lifted her off the ground by her ponytail.

Alvarado was also found guilty of one count of lying to investigators when he said he and Graham had consensual sex. According to his charge sheet, "the statement was totally false." He also faces separate charges on the unlawful discharge of a firearm from March 2020, according to reporting from the El Paso Times.

Alvarado was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 501st Aviation Regiment, Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division.

A Rand Corp. study released Friday found that female soldiers at Fort Hood and Fort Bliss in Texas faced the highest risk of sexual assault, mostly due to poor command climates in combat-arms units.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.

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