The former commander of 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, was charged with sexually assaulting another officer's wife, according to court documents reviewed by Military.com.
Col. Jon Meredith, an armor officer, was arraigned Monday at Fort Cavazos, Texas, the base formerly known as Fort Hood, and faces a court-martial. Meredith has been charged with abusive sexual contact and conduct unbecoming an officer.
Army documents say that Meredith touched the breasts, inner thigh and genitals of another officer's civilian wife "with intent to arouse and gratify his and her desires" in July. Meredith, a married man, also kissed her repeatedly and told her he wanted to have sex with her, the documents allege.
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The Army has tried to be more aggressive in recent years ousting soldiers who are accused of sexual assault and harassment, particularly after the gruesome 2020 slaying of Spc. Vanessa Guillén at Fort Cavazos, which caught national attention and drew intense scrutiny from the media and Congress on how the service protects women.
High-profile courts-martial against colonels, particularly for sexual assault, are relatively rare.
Last year, an Air Force general was convicted of sex abuse, making history as the first general in the service to be prosecuted by court-martial. Maj. Gen. William Cooley, the former head of the Air Force Research Laboratory, was accused by his sister-in-law of pinning her, kissing her, putting his hand on her breast and then moving his hand to between her legs after a brief drive following a family barbecue in August 2018.
In Meredith's case, the court documents say he went uninvited to the house of the woman while her Army officer husband was participating in a field training exercise. During that visit, he allegedly groped her and made sexual advances.
Meredith was fired from his job in command in October 2022 after being at the helm since May 2021. His court-martial is set for Oct. 18.
Meredith is married to Col. Ann Meredith, who was also ousted from her role commanding the 89th Military Police Brigade, also at Fort Cavazos, in February. She initially took command of the brigade in July 2022.
In a social media post reviewed by Military.com, Ann Meredith alleges she was initially suspended from command after sending a text message that was perceived as potentially influencing the investigation into her husband's conduct. The details of that text message could not be independently verified.
-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenBeynon.
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