Benito Perez

Command Sgt. Maj. Benito A. Perez, Jr., outgoing senior enlisted leader, Division Artillery, 4th Infantry Division, stands at the front of the formation during the change of responsibility ceremony at the William “Bill” Reed Special Events Center, Jan. 13, 2020, on Fort Carson, Colorado. Perez served for over 30 months as the DIVARTY command sergeant major. 

Editors Note: This story has been updated now that the court-martial proceedings have brought to light there were only two alleged victims. The private first class now a sergeant and another person who was a minor and then adult mentioned in 9 of the 10 counts.

Prosecutors have charged a former top enlisted soldier of Fort Carson’s largest artillery unit with multiple counts of sexual misconduct involving one girl and a private first class in his command.

In court papers, Army prosecutors allege Sgt. Maj. Benito A. Perez Jr., 51, coerced a girl to disrobe while he exposed himself, had lewd online communications with an underage female while overseas, and persuaded the private to provide him with photos.

Perez faces court-martial June 7 at the Mountain Post, Fort Carson officials confirmed.

Fort Carson commanders had no comment on the case Thursday, a spokeswoman said.

Perez, who has served 31 years in the Army, faces 10 counts involving one victim in four states spanning 12 years.

Perez faces four counts of sexual assault from incidents in Texas and Oklahoma between 2008 to 2011, including exposing himself, coercing a girl to disrobe and groping a girl, prosecutors said in court papers.

He faces five counts of lewd communications with a minor from 2013 to 2017. Prosecutors in court papers allege those incidents took place in Kuwait, Indiana and Colorado Springs.

A final charge accuses Perez of disobeying orders by asking for a photo of a private, inappropriately touching her, demanding she come to closed-door meetings and inviting her to his home.

Details on the case including the exact ages of the females involved were not released.

An artilleryman, Perez has served in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has twice earned the Bronze Star Medal, the Army's third-highest decoration for combat service. 

He has also earned the Legion of Merit and five times was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

Army records show he has served as the top enlisted soldier in an artillery battalion and in Fort Carson's 2nd Brigade Combat Team.

From 2017 to January 2020, Perez served as the top enlisted soldier in the post's artillery brigade.

Army sources say the allegations against him arose after he left that job.

Court-martialing soldiers as senior as Perez can be difficult in the Army.

Enlisted soldiers can choose to add enlisted members to the court-martial jury, and those troops must be senior to defendant in rank and time of service.

That means few enlisted soldiers in the Army would be qualified to sit in judgement of Perez.

If convicted, Perez would face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, according to sentencing guidelines in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Military juries may choose any sanction up to the maximum if they reach a conviction.

His court-martial is scheduled to last a week.

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