Prosecutors submitted an audio tape of a February 1997 telephone conversation in which Sgt. Maj. Gene C. McKinney asked Staff Sgt. Christine Fetrow to deny that he had sexually harassed her and claim that “no inappropriateness at all,” had occurred between them.
McKinney said, “All you have to do is tell them that we talked a lot. You call the office sometimes because you want to talk about career development and that kind of stuff. That’s it ... That’s all they need to know.”
Fetrow, the first of fifty to testify against the defendant, said that McKinney had reportedly made unwanted sexual advances and assaulted her since 1994. Fetrow also claimed that she has received “well over 40” anonymous, threatening phone calls since the start of the investigation.
McKinney faces 19 charges, including sexual assault and obstructing justice, stemming from the allegations of six officers. If convicted, he faces 55.5 years in prison, loss of retirement benefits and rank.
Feminist News Stories on Sexual Harassment, Assault and Discrimination in the Military
Media Resources: Reuters, Washington Post - February 11, 1998