5 Fort Johnson Soldiers Face Charges in Multiple Rapes

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Army Base Renaming Fort Johnson
A sign at a west Louisiana U.S. Army base displays the base's new name on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. The former Fort Polk on Tuesday formally became Fort Johnson, named for a Black World War I hero. (Crystal Stevenson/The American Press via AP)

Five 10th Mountain soldiers at Fort Johnson, Louisiana, are facing charges tied to allegations that they together drugged and raped three women in two separate instances.

Pfc. Franz Robert Camentil, 20; Spc. John Paul Bianzon, 29; Pfc. Ajjashery Jalnaiz Flores, 24; Pfc. Frinz Deivhid Ramit, 19; and Spc. Cyrus Moises Ranada Labial, 24, were arrested in November and charged with the first-degree rapes of two women, according to charge sheets reviewed by Military.com. The group is now facing additional charges for a separate alleged rape in September 2022.

All infantrymen, the five are assigned to the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Johnson, previously known as Fort Polk. They are being held in pretrial confinement, according to court records, and were not immediately available for comment.

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Flores is facing additional charges that he recorded and distributed tape of the assault in November 2022, while Camentil is accused of taking photographs, court records show. Labial is charged with taking photos of the September assault and distributing those photos. Ramit is accused of recording and also distributing the recording of that same attack.

In the November assault, authorities say one of the two women attacked was "acquainted" with one of the soldiers who showed up at her Rosepine, Louisiana, home just outside of Fort Johnson. That woman told police she didn't know the other four soldiers who arrived. The two women reported they began to feel unwell quickly after drinking with the soldiers and felt exaggerated impacts of intoxication.

All the soldiers have pleaded not guilty, and most have trials set to begin this November, with proceedings likely to stretch into 2024.

Sexual assault in the miltary has increasingly become a major issue in the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill in the past two decades. President Joe Biden in July signed an executive order implementing sweeping military justice reforms, including limiting the power commanders have over whether to pursue a case against accused assailants. Instead, independent military prosecutors will handle cases.

Last year, there were 7,378 reports of sexual assault against service members, according to Pentagon data, about 100 more than in 2021. It's unclear whether the inflation is tied to victims being more comfortable reporting attacks given attention to the issue from the military services or if crimes are increasing.

Fort Johnson has seen a series of sex-related crimes this year.

In June, Lt. Col. Jon-Paul Depreo was sentenced to two months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of assault and another count of conduct unbecoming an officer after groping another soldier. Depreo served as commander of the 46th Engineer Battalion.

Additionally, that same battalion's former top enlisted leader, Command Sgt. Maj. Jeremy Compton, pleaded guilty in June to distributing child pornography and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

In January, Pvt. Tyler Davis, 23, a Fort Johnson soldier, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of rape that involved at least three victims, including a child. Investigators also discovered Davis recorded three videos of the child abuse. He was sentenced to 42 years in prison.

-- Steve Beynon can be reached at Steve.Beynon@military.com. Follow him on X @StevenBeynon.

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