The night before four Kentucky National Guard soldiers were set to deploy on active duty, they sexually assaulted a female colleague, officials allege.
The morning of June 3, police in Calloway County, Kentucky received a call from a local hospital, where a woman had reported a sexual assault and submitted to a medical examination. The woman’s alleged attackers were four fellow soldiers, police say. The four men allegedly provided the woman with alcohol, then assaulted her while she was intoxicated.
On June 14, police arrested Anthony Tubolino, 25; Tyler Hart, 19; Austin Dennis, 21; and Jacob Ruth, 22, for various sexual offenses relating to the assault. The four men had been part of a group of Kentucky National Guard gathered in the area for deployment the following day, and had allegedly been in a hotel room when the assault occurred.
Tubolino faces charges of second degree rape, second degree sodomy, and third degree unlawful transaction with a minor. Though the nature of the unlawful transaction with a minor charge is unspecified, the charge usually pertains to controlled substances, which could include alcohol if the alleged victim was under 21 years old.
Hart faces charges of first degree sexual abuse and second degree sodomy, while Dennis and Ruth both face second degree sodomy charges, police said in a statement.
A court docket for Dennis’s upcoming hearing on July 5 specifies that the second degree sodomy charge is for allegedly assaulting someone who was “mentally incapacitated” by intoxication. In a statement, the Kentucky State Police said their investigation had revealed
That “the victim was provided alcohol and was then sexually assaulted by these four suspects.”
Tubolino’s attorney Alan Simpson, refuted the allegations against his client.
“Mr. Tubolino has committed no sex crime whatsoever. The alleged victim in this case was a willing participant and while she may have been intoxicated, was not unconscious. We look forward to defending his name and reputation," Simpson told CNN.
The Kentucky National Guard will not take action against the soldiers until the conclusion of an investigation. In a statement, the department condemned the soldiers’ actions, as alleged.
"Sexual assault is not only a reprehensible act, it is a criminal act,” the Guard’s Maj. Gen. Stephen Hogan wrote in a statement. “First and foremost our goal is to support the victim of this incident. It is damaging to our morale, to our readiness and to our combat ability. It has no place in the Kentucky National Guard. It goes against all the values we hold dear as service members in the US Military.”